A Berks County lawmaker, who was sexually abused by a priest, said he testified before a grand jury investigating abuse in the Diocese of Allentown as part of a statewide probe.
Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Rozzi said the state attorney general is investigating clergy sexual abuse, and the findings will be shocking.
Rozzi told 69 News he was in Pittsburgh recently to testify before a grand jury about his personal experience as a child abused by a priest within the Diocese of Allentown, which covers Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties.
"I think people are going to be really, really shocked, saddened, dismayed when they find out what really happened in the Allentown diocese," said Rozzi.
"I got my subpoena months ago, and I just recently testified about three to four weeks ago in Pittsburgh specifically on my abuse," said Rozzi.
Rozzi's testimony came months after a grand jury report stated Catholic bishops helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by more than 50 priests over 40 years in the Altoona-Johnstown diocese.
"It's going to make the Altoona-Johnstown report look simple compared to what really happened in the Allentown diocese," said Rozzi.
Matt Kerr, a spokesman for the Diocese of Allentown, released the following statement Thursday night:
"The Diocese of Allentown is committed to the protection of children and young people. To this end, it is the policy of the Diocese of Allentown to cooperate with law enforcement. We have zero tolerance for offenders and report allegations of abuse to the appropriate authorities. We pray for all victims of abuse and continue to educate thousands of children and adults in the diocese on how to spot and report abuse to the proper authorities."
In a statement to 69 News, a spokesman with the Diocese of Harrisburg said it is cooperating with the attorney general's office and the investigation.
"The Diocese of Harrisburg views the abuse of children as an appalling crime and sin. The protection and safety of our youth is a top priority," said, in part, a statement provided by Joe Aponick from the Diocese of Harrisburg.
"We have zero tolerance for offenders and when a report of possible abuse is made in the Diocese of Harrisburg we promptly relay it to public authorities. We encourage reports of abuse to the State Childline at 800-932-0313 and also to our toll-free victim assistance number, 800-626-1608. We offer assistance in healing no matter when the abuse happened," Aponick's statement added.
According to Rozzi, the grand jury investigation into the clergy sex abuse allegations has been happening for several months.
"It's truly going to be shocking," Rozzi said.
According to its website, the attorney general's office set up a hotline -- 888-538-8541 -- which is being manned by investigators who worked directly on the office's two-year investigation of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese.
On Thursday night, a spokesman for the attorney general would not confirm a secret investigation into dioceses across Pennsylvania, but said the office's diocese hotline has received calls about other dioceses and the office is doing its due diligence to act appropriately with those investigative leads.