|Priest Suspended over Sexual Abuse Allegations
March 5, 2009
PITTSBURGH — A local Catholic priest has been suspended from the ministry after being accused of sexually abusing a minor 40 years ago.
The alleged abuse happened at the now closed St. Canice Parish, located in the Knoxville section of Pittsburgh.
"At the beginning of the week, an allegation came to us that someone had been abused by one of our priest, Fr. Al Adams, some 40 years ago - in that period, 40-41 - the victim wasn't quite sure," said Fr. Ron Lengwin.
Until Wednesday, Fr. Adams had been working as the pastor and Chaplin at Bishop Canevin High School.
The students and parents were informed of the actions taken by the Diocese in a letter sent home on Wednesday.
"Right now, he can't present himself as a priest in good standing," said Fr. Lengwin, "he can't wear the Roman collar, can't publicly administer the sacraments.
Fr. Adams also served as pastor at Resurrection Catholic Church in West Mifflin.
One of Fr. Adams former parishioners says she can't believe the allegations.
"I can't believe it. He was always a kind, nice person," said Marcie Walls, a parishioner at Resurrection Catholic Church. "He had been our pastor for almost two years and I could say nothing bad about him."
Fr. Lengwin says the Diocese will convene a review board to determine the next course of action.
Also, the District Attorney's office has been informed of the situation.
Officials say these are the first accusations filed against Fr. Adams since his ordination in 1967.
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