Saint Vincent renames building as result of sex abuse allegations against deceased priest |

Saint Vincent renames building as result of sex abuse allegations against deceased priest

Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
The interior of the Student Activity Center at Saint Vincent College on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. The building was formerly called Alcuin Hall.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
The Student Activity Center at Saint Vincent College is seen from the outside on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. The building was formerly called Alcuin Hall.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Students walk past the front of the Student Activity Center at Saint Vincent College on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. The building was formerly called Alcuin Hall.

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, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.