Former Diocese of Greensburg Bishop Anthony Bosco is accused of inappropriately touching a nursing student in the late 1960s, according to the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Bosco died in 2013 at 85.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh informed the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office about the allegation, which church officials said was made recently.
Bosco was not yet a bishop at the time of the alleged inappropriate touching. He was a monsignor, serving as a chaplain and instructor at the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing.
He was ordained an auxiliary bishop for Pittsburgh in 1970 and became bishop of the Greensburg diocese from 1987 until his retirement in 2004.
The Diocese of Greensburg said Wednesday it supports the investigation.
It said the allegation is the “first and only” time Bosco has been accused of misconduct.
“I believe Bishop Bosco would have understood why the Diocese of Pittsburgh made the report and publicized the allegation for the sake of seeking justice,” Bishop Edward C. Malesic said in a statement. “As bishops, we must do much more than just listen to the calls for transparency and action. We must respond quickly and consistently to allegations and send the message that no person’s voice should go unheard just because time has passed.”
By 2012, Bosco had ordered five priests to stop practicing public ministry after they were implicated in sex abuse scandals.
These controversies were in the background of a celebrated ministry.
When Bosco died in 2013, he was remembered as a passionate educator. He was born in New Castle in 1927 and was ordained in Oakland in 1952. He taught “Religion, Medical Ethics and Marriage” at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, and a distance learning class for the University of Dayton. While he was bishop, he became a visiting professor of religion at Greensburg’s Seton Hill University.
The allegation surfaces after a grand jury report implicated hundreds of Pennsylvania priests — living and dead — of sex crimes. Allegations against Bosco were not mentioned in the report.
“The Diocese of Pittsburgh continues to respond to those who have been hurt by representatives of the church,” Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said in a statement. “The healing of victims is paramount to us.”
Zubik notified Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States and Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, about the allegation, in addition to the district attorney.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review
staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter @Soolseem.