PA--SNAP responds, Altoona-Johnstown priest removed for abuse
For immediate release, July 6, 2017
Statement by Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Leader, 636-433-2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com
Another accused Altoona-Johnstown priest has been “outed” by Bishop Mark Bartchak. He's Fr. Anthony Petracca .
We applaud the brave person who was strong enough to step forward, expose Fr. Petracca and warn the public about him. We hope this disclosure will help that individual in his or her healing. And we are confident that this move will make children safer.
We urge victims, and whistleblowers to contact secular authorities, not church officials if they have knowledge or have been harmed by Petracca. And we beg anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered clergy crimes - by this cleric or others - to come forward, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.
Bartchak should personally visit every parish where Fr. Petracca worked and beg anyone with information or suspicions about him to call law enforcement immediately. And he should put Fr. Petracca in a remote, secure, independent treatment center so that kids are safer. Until this happens, Bartchak should disclose where Fr. Petracca is now so that kids will be safer.
History of Altoona-Johnstown Diocese: A document from the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese Grand Jury. There the bishop rated a survivors abuse and assigned certain rewards for level of abuse. http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/03/altoona_diocese_catholic_clerg_1.html
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 25,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.