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3 priests placed on administrative leave following sex abuse allegations

Three priests have been put on administrative leave following sexual abuse allegations of a minor, according to a release from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

RELATED: Child abuse lawsuit filed against Diocese of Pittsburgh

Bishop David Zubik placed one active priest and two retired priests on leave in wake of the grand jury report.

"Bishop Zubik placed them on this administrative leave, removing their faculties," said spokesman the Rev. Nick Vasko. "They cannot dress as a priest, they cannot celebrate the sacraments publicly, but it is following the process that's in place when allegations like this come in."

According to a release, the allegations have been reported to law enforcement.

The three priests are Rev. John Bauer, 71; Rev. Bernard Costello, 81; and Rev. Hugh Lang, 87. All three have denied the allegations, the diocese said.

"Letters have been sent to every parish where the the three priests have served throughout their priestly ministry, letting them know about the allegation and encouraging others to come forward," Vasko said.

What we know about these priests according to the Pittsburgh Diocese:

  • The Rev. John Bauer, 71, has been serving in team ministry at the Greene County parishes of St. Ann in Waynesburg, St. Hugh in Carmichaels, St. Ignatius of Antioch in Bobtown, Our Lady of Consolation in Nemacolin and St. Thomas in Clarksville. He is accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the early 1980s. This allegation was received on August 30, 2018. The grand jury report included an earlier allegation of other misconduct against Bauer that was not substantiated as child sexual abuse because the accuser stated that Bauer did not sexually abuse him. Bauer was therefore in ministry until this new allegation was received.
  • The Rev. Bernard Costello, 81, completed his last assignment in 2011 as temporary administrator at Mary, Mother of the Church parish in Charleroi. He is accused of sexually abusing a minor in the mid-1960s. This allegation, which the Diocese of Pittsburgh received on Aug. 22, 2018, is the first allegation the diocese has received against Costello.
  • The Rev. Hugh Lang, 87, retired in 2006 as pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux in Munhall. He is accused of sexually abusing a minor in 2001. This allegation, which the Diocese of Pittsburgh received on Aug. 27, 2018, is the first allegation the diocese has received against Lang.