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Pennsylvania diocese suspends Franciscan priest

Monday - 5/19/2014, 10:38am  ET

DAVIDSVILLE, Pa. (AP) -- A diocese has suspended a Franciscan priest from working in a southwestern Pennsylvania parish after learning that his religious order had also suspended him due to an allegation of child sex abuse in Maryland in the 1980s.

Bishop Mark Bartchak, who heads the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, advised members of St. Anne Parish in Davidsville, that the Rev. Michael Lewandowski can no longer function as a priest in the diocese.

That decision announced Sunday was prompted by Lewandowski's suspension by the Franciscans Order at Our Lady of the Angels Province in Ellicott City, Maryland. Lewandowski had served at the southwestern Pennsylvania parish since 1997.

The bishop says the diocese and the Franciscans are not aware of any other allegations against Lewandowski.

The abuse allegation has been reported to law enforcement authorities.


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