Priest Charged with Child Porn, Once Served near Tamaqua

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BETHLEHEM — A priest in the Diocese of Allentown has been charged with possessing child pornography.

Msgr. John Mraz, 66, currently residing in Bethlehem, was charged Tuesday morning.

Authorities said child pornography files were found by someone doing maintenance on Msgr. Mraz’s computer at his residence in Emmaus in July.

Msgr. Mraz has been charged with sexual abuse of children and criminal use of communication facility, according to the Lehigh County district attorney.

Msgr. Mraz once worked near Tamaqua as vice principal and director of spiritual activities at Marian High School.

The Diocese of Allentown issued the following statement:

Criminal charges have been filed today against Monsignor John Mraz, a priest of the Diocese of Allentown.

Last month, the presence of suspicious content on Monsignor’s computer was brought to the attention of the Diocese. The Diocese immediately notified law enforcement officials and cooperated completely with the investigation that resulted in the charges filed today.

Monsignor Mraz was ordained in 1975. He was a professor at the former Reading Central Catholic High School, Allentown Central Catholic High School and Vice Principal and Director of Spiritual Activities at Marian High School in Tamaqua. He was chaplain at the Newman Center at Lehigh University and Assistant Superintendent in the Diocesan Office of Education. He was pastor of the former St. Bertha Parish in Tuscarora, at Assumption B.V.M, Northampton and since 2008 at St. Ann Parish in Emmaus.

Monsignor Mraz has been removed from public ministry and cannot present himself as a priest.

Because this matter is now in the hands of the judicial system, the Diocese will withhold further comment.

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