Archabbey Media Notice

On August 14, 2018, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania released a report from the 40th Statewide Grand Jury regarding allegations of abuse by priests within the Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania. Bishop Edward Malesic of the Diocese of Greensburg has issued a pastoral statement regarding that report. The Archabbey fully supports the Bishop’s response to the Grand Jury’s Report.

The Archabbey Community is saddened by the behavior of those accused and extends its deep apology to any person who has been victimized by any member of the Archabbey Community.

Three deceased members of the Archabbey are named in the report against whom credible allegations were made concerning incidents occurring more than 40 years ago: Fr. Giles Nealen, Fr. Fidelis Lazar and Fr. Charles Weber. None were in active ministry at the time the allegations were received by the Archabbey.

In addition to the members named in the Grand Jury Report, the Archabbey has received credible allegations against the following individuals:

Fr. Raymond Balko – Fr. Balko was alleged to have abused a minor sometime in 1963 or 1964. Balko died in 1985. The allegation was reported to the Archabbey in 2002.

Fr. Gordian Burkardt – Fr. Burkardt was alleged to have abused a minor sometime in 1961 or 1962. Burkardt died in 1985. The allegation was reported to the Archabbey in 2006.

Fr. Alvin Downey – Fr. Downey was alleged to have abused a minor in 1981. The allegation was reported to the Archabbey in 2002. Downey was removed from ministry at that time. Downey died in 2010.

Fr. Joseph Gerg – Fr. Gerg was alleged to have abused a minor sometime in 1969 – 1971. The allegation was made in 1997. In 2002, the Archdiocese of Baltimore in accord with the Dallas Charter publicly reported the allegation as credible. He was removed from active ministry.

Fr. Germain Lieb – Fr. Lieb was alleged to have abused a minor between 1975 and 1978. Lieb died in 2006. The allegation was reported to the Archabbey in 2018.

Fr. Stanley Markiewicz – Fr. Markiewicz was alleged to have abused multiple individuals between 1966 and 1971. The first allegation was received by the Archabbey in 2002. He was removed from active ministry at that time.

Fr. Cosmas Minster – Fr. Minster was alleged to have abused an individual in 1942. Minster died in 1985. The complaint was reported to the Archabbey in 2002.

Fr. Emmeran Rettger – Fr. Rettger is alleged to have abused multiple individuals at some point between 1965 and 1967. The complaint was reported to the Archabbey in 1993. He was retired from active ministry and residing in the infirmary at the time of the allegation. Rettger died in 1999.

Fr. Jerome Rupprecht – Fr. Rupprecht was alleged to have abused an individual in the early 1970s. Rupprecht died in 1982. The allegation was reported to the Archabbey in 2002.

Br. Benet Salis – An allegation was received that Br. Salis had abused an individual at some point between 1964 and 1965. Salis died in 1991. This allegation was reported to the Archabbey in 1993.

Fr. Alcuin Tasch – Fr. Tasch was alleged to have abused multiple individuals between 1950 and 1963. Tasch died in 1982. The allegations were reported to the Archabbey in 1995.

Fr. Herman Ubinger – Fr. Ubinger was alleged to have abused multiple individuals between 1966 and 1971. Ubinger died in 1997. The allegation was reported to the Archabbey in 2002.

The allegations against these individuals involve incidents occurring between 30 and 75 years ago.

Saint Vincent Archabbey adheres to State and Federal Statutes related to the protection of minors. It is the policy of the Archabbey immediately to report any allegation of sexual abuse of minors to the District Attorney of the relevant county and to cooperate fully in any follow-up investigation. Further, the Archabbey adheres to the 2002 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” a comprehensive act of procedures for addressing allegations of abuse of minors as well as best practices for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. The Archabbey provides support for victims to receive professional counseling in the healing process.

The Archabbey’s delegate for the protection of children investigates and documents all complaints of alleged child abuse for action of the Archabbey Review Board. The Review Board consists of independent outside individuals including a retired judge, civil lawyer, canon lawyer, pediatrician, child psychologist and retired law enforcement officer.

The Archabbey is accredited by Praesidium, Inc., a nationally recognized, independent organization that specializes in the protection of children, youth and vulnerable adults. The services of Praesidium are provided to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the YMCA, Syracuse University and other prominent institutions. The process for accreditation with Praesidium is rigorous and requires compliance with multiple standards indicating that the accredited institution is conforming to practices found to be most effective for the prevention and remediation of cases of child abuse. The Archabbey was first accredited by Praesidium in 2008 and was reaccredited in 2012 and 2016. In 2016, the Archabbey was granted accreditation for a five-year period with compliance reviews on an annual basis.