"These priests need to be dealt with"

News Summary: "Ex-Prep priest accused," published by the Erie Times, November 14, 2003 by Ed Palattella and Scott Westcott

The Rev. Michael G. Barletta was an instructor at Erie's Cathedral Preparatory School 1975 through 1993-94. He also started the Teenage Action Club (TAC) for the underprivileged.

Barletta was popular teacher who went on trips with students.

But three former students describe the priest as a sexual predator.

These Erie Prep alumni say Barletta sexually molested them as teenagers and one called him "a calculating predator."

The former students who are now adults filed complaints with Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman.

Barletta is now 63 years old and the alleged sexual abuse took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Trautman has been the bishop of the Erie diocese since 1990.

Two of the Barletta's alleged victims were minors at the time of the claimed molestation The three men are now professionals in their thirties, one works in health-care, one is an engineer and another a scientist.

The statute of imitations prevented the men making claims against Barletta in civil or criminal court.

Barletta could not be reached for comment by the Erie Times

His most recent known address at the time of the report was the rectory for St. Patrick Catholic Church in Erie.

The alleged victims said the diocese has paid $15,000 to $20,000 in therapy for one of them. Further arrangements for additional treatment were being negotiated with Bishop Trautman.

Barletta is no longer serving the Catholic Diocese of Erie, though the diocese will not say why.

After the first complaint was received by the bishop in 1994 Barletta was moved to a job at the diocese's Office of Catholic Charities and assumed the position of acting chaplain at the Holy Family Carmelite Monastery, a cloistered community for religious women in Erie.

The Erie diocese stopped listing Barletta in its official directory as of 2002-03.

Barletta is the sixth priest in the 235-priest Catholic Diocese of Erie to resign or be removed due to allegations of sexual misconduct according to the Erie Times-News.

One of Barletta's alleged victims said that Bishop Trautman told him the priest admitted to the allegations regarding one man.

"As it is, this guy is going to get away...He needs to be exposed. He needs to be marked in our society as a predator." Barletta "has never been held accountable," one the men said.

"We are still Catholics...But do you want a Catholic Church that has dealt with these accusations, or dealt with them haphazardly? These priests need to be dealt with," one of Barletta's alleged victims said.

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