Priest Accused of Abuse Assigned to Convent

By Debra Erdley
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
February 19, 2010

A priest who was suspended from his duties as parish priest at Ascension Church in Ingram and chaplain at Bishop Canevin High School last March pending an investigation of abuse allegations dating from the 1970s has been reassigned as chaplain at a Whitehall convent.

The Rev. Alvin Adams, 69, resigned his position at Ascension Church and will begin restricted supervised duties as a priest at the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God motherhouse next month, said the Rev. Ron Lengwin, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The reassignment followed the ruling of a Diocesean Review Board that deemed credible allegations that Adams had fondled a 16-year-old girl nearly four decades ago. Since the alleged incident occurred under church law in effect at the time, the teen would have been considered an adult, Lengwin said. After 1983, church law was revised to make 18 the age of majority.

Adams maintained his innocence through the proceedings. His attorney, Paul Titus, said he was "extremely disappointed in the way in which my church has handled this matter. They have put public relations considerations ahead of justice.

"We know that business organizations, which are motivated by economics, often put public relations first, but we should expect better of our churches. Unfortunately, a good, decent and caring priest, who has been faithful to his calling and who has done much good for countless people, has been wrongfully treated in this process." Titus said.


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