Diocesan Priest Concludes Administrative Leave, Granted Retirement
Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
October 22, 2015
In response to allegations that the Reverend Joseph J. Seminatore was culpable of grave offenses against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue with minors (cf. CIC canon 1395, §2, Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, article 4, n.1), a tribunal of three priest canonists, constituted by Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon at the direction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, found the charges not confirmed. An appeal of the decision by the Promoter of Justice was not accepted by the Holy See; thus, the decision stands.
Recognizing the dignity of the priesthood, which was established by Jesus Christ to be joined in a special way with the episcopal ministry, and thus shares in the authority by which Christ builds up, sanctifies, and rules his Church, it is all the more necessary to exercise invariant vigilance over the behavior of priests and to hold them to a greater level of accountability. Acknowledging the grave responsibility of the Bishop for vigilance in all ministerial activities, especially those involving minors, and for the good of the Church, while also recognizing limitations caused by advanced age and health issues, Father Seminatore has consented to a limited set of ministerial parameters.
Father Seminatore, formerly Chaplain at the now-closed Parmadale Residential Center for Youth, was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Cleveland in May of 2002.