Bishop puts pastor on leave after ‘90s abuse claim
August 4, 2014
CONWAY, Pa. (AP) — Pittsburgh's Roman Catholic bishop has put a suburban pastor on administrative leave after receiving an allegation of unspecified sexual abuse against the cleric dating to the late 1990s.
Bishop David Zubik says the church is providing the Rev. John Fitzgerald with temporary housing away from Our Lady of Peace Church in Conway, Beaver County, where he's on administrative leave as pastor while church and law enforcement officials review the allegations.
Zubik didn't detail the allegations, but says prosecutors in Allegheny and Lawrence counties have been notified because the alleged abuse occurred in those jurisdictions.
Zubik said in a statement Sunday that the priest "has denied committing any acts of sexual abuse."
The 66-year-old priest can't administer church sacraments, dress or otherwise identify himself as a priest while on leave.