Catholic Priest

John E. Brueckner

Ordained: 1940
Diocese: Diocese of Pittsburgh

From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

The Diocesan records contained a memorandum dated May, 4, 2016 that was written by Father William J. Waltersheid.  He reported that a woman had contacted the Diocese of Greensburg to report that her husband suffered abuse at the hand of a Catholic priest when he was only a child.  Prior to the creation of the Diocese of Greensburg on March 10, 1951, the parishes in Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana, and Westmoreland counties were encompassed by the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

According to the memorandum, the woman stated that in 2002 her husband informed her that he had been abused by a priest from St. Joseph sometime between the years of 1947 and 1951.  He stated that the abuse occurred in the priest’s car after they saw a baseball game together. She could not recall the name of the priest who abused her husband.

A search of Diocesan records revealed that Father Brueckner and Father Stewart were assigned to St. Joseph during this time period.

On May 6, 2016, the Diocese sent a confidential memorandum to the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office, reporting that sometime between 1947 and 1951, a catholic priest stationed at St. Joseph Church abused a boy “just going into puberty.” The memorandum provided a list of priests who were assigned to St. Joseph. Brueckner and Stewart’s names were contained on the list.  The letter also mentioned a May 3, 2016 e-mail communication that had previously been sent to the District Attorney’s Office.  However, the Diocesan files do not contain a copy of this e-mail.

It does not appear that the Diocese of Pittsburgh took any further action in connection with the allegation.

Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation.  A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.