Arseneault served as Pastor of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Huntingdon since 2000 and Coveny was ordained to the Priesthood in 1964 and retired in 2011.
The Bishop, Mark L. Bartchak, said it is a precautionary measure while the Diocese takes a further into the allegations of sexual misconduct that dates back over 20 years.
According to SNAP,
Bishop Mark Bartchak’s announcement about this move was troubling.Priests placed on leave | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | WJAC
First, he minimizes the horrors and promotes dangerous complacency by stressing that the alleged crimes happened years ago. That’s self-serving but wrong. He should be urging vigilance, not complacency.
Second, Bartchak says he must “re-examine” these abuse reports.” That suggests that he’s known about them for some time. Bartchack must honor his pledges of “openness and transparency” and reveal how long he’s been aware of these abuse reports and why he’s “re-examining” them now.
Third, he deceptively describes child sex crimes as “sexual misconduct involving young people.” Again, he’s mischaracterizing and minimizing sexual violence against children. Shame on him.
Fourth, the odds that both reports were made or deemed credible at the same time are very slim. So Altoona Catholic officials very likely delayed one announcement so they could minimize the bad public relations by disclosing them both simultaneously. That, of course, is reckless. It kept police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public in the dark for days, weeks or months about a likely predator priest.
We urge Catholic officials in central Pennsylvania to use church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements to aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by these clerics and beg them to call police. This is the very least that church officials should do.