Saint Vincent renames building as result of sex abuse allegations against deceased priest
Saint Vincent College has renamed a building on campus in reaction to sexual abuse allegations against an early dean of the Catholic institution.
The former Alcuin Hall is now the Student Activity Center, said Kim Metzgar, spokeswoman for Saint Vincent Archabbey and Seminary. The name changed after the archabbey on Aug. 16 released a list of a dozen Benedictines against whom “credible allegations” of sexual abuse had been made.
That list included the Rev. Alcuin Tasch, who the building was named after when it was completed in 1964, Metzgar said.
Tasch is alleged to have abused multiple people between 1950 and 1963, when he was assigned to 40 Holy Martyrs Parish in Baltimore. The allegations were reported to the archabbey in 1995. Tasch died in 1982.
“The decision was made to rename it after his name appeared on the list,” Metzgar said. “The consensus was to rename the building for its present use, which is as a student activity center.”
The building, which sits on the southwest part of campus near the baseball field, is used for student social events, dances and recreation. The first floor is used by the Bearcats football team for physical training.
Metzgar said the renaming was approved by Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, chancellor of the college.
Tasch’s tenure as dean of the college dates to the 1920s. When it came time to dedicate a complex of three new buildings on campus in 1964, Tasch and two other early deans were chosen – the Rev. Bonaventure Reithmeier (Bonaventure Hall) and the Rev. Gerard Bridge (Gerard Hall), according to “Mission to America,” an official history of Saint Vincent College.
Tasch was one of 12 Benedictines – 11 priests and one brother – named by the archabbey after a report from the 40 th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury on Catholic clergy sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses was released on Aug. 14.
The grand jury report included the names of three Saint Vincent Archabbey members, all deceased – the Rev. Fidelis Lazar of the Pittsburgh diocese, the Rev. Giles Nealen of the Erie diocese, and the Rev. Charles Weber of the Greensburg diocese.
All but two of the 12 people named by the archabbey are dead. Many allegations stem from pastoral assignments taken by the Benedictines in other dioceses.
This is the second time in the Diocese of Greensburg that a building has been renamed since the grand jury report was released. The diocese on Aug. 29 changed the name of the Bishop Connare Center on Route 30 to the Christ, Our Shepherd Center after it was revealed that Connare, Greensburg bishop from 1960-87, had concealed allegations of sexual abuse against priests in the diocese and had moved abusive priests from parish to parish.
In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s name was removed from North Catholic High School in Cranberry after the former Pittsburgh bishop’s name appeared 169 times in the grand jury report.
Since releasing its list, Saint Vincent Archabbey has received five additional reports against four archabbey members already publicly named – the Revs. Stanley Markiewicz, Jerome Rupprecht, Herman Ubinger and Charles Weber, Metzgar said.
The archabbey also has received a report regarding a deceased member that is currently under investigation, she said.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @shuba_trib.