Statement on Federal Grand Jury
STATEMENT ON FEDERAL GRAND JURY
INDICTMENT OF FATHER BARTLEY SORENSEN
Bishop David A. Zubik issued the following statement today in response to the federal grand jury indictment of Father Bartley Sorensen, former pastor of St. John Fisher Parish, Pittsburgh:
Though this action was not unexpected, this is still a difficult and sad day. Father Bartley Sorensen, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh for 35 years, now faces federal charges of receiving and accessing child pornography.
A church employee trained in the diocesan safe environment program reported this to the Diocesan Hotline (1-888-808-1235). Father Sorensen was immediately removed from ministry and the report was turned over to civil authorities. The indictment today is the next stage in the response by authorities. It is understood that the investigation will continue.
As has been seen all too often, this is a tragedy that exists in every level of society and requires constant vigilance. Though in this case the offensive material involved was found on a personal computer and not a church-owned computer, the policies of the Diocese of Pittsburgh state that all church-owned computers and networks are to be filtered for objectionable material and subject to periodic audit of their use. This policy will continue to be enforced with the assistance of civil authorities.
I encourage any individual who may have any information concerning this very serious matter to contact the FBI at 412-432-4000.
There is no way to understand, yet alone excuse or talk around compulsions involving children. My prayers are for all that have been victims of this pernicious exploitation.