Priest Allowed to Retire after Sexual Abuse Claim "Not Proven"
March 22, 2017
A Beaver County priest accused of sexually abusing a minor in the late 1990s will be allowed to retire, the Diocese of Pittsburgh announced Wednesday.
The Rev. John Fitzgerald, 68, has been on administrative leave since July 2014. His last assignment was at Our Lady of Peace parish in Conway.
The diocese said Wednesday that the Vatican’s congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ruled that the accusation against Fitzgerald “has not been proven.”
“It could not be determined with certainty whether the abuse did or did not occur,” the diocese said in a news release.
The congregation directed Bishop David Zubik to take appropriate action that provides for the welfare of all parties involved, including the welfare of the public, the diocese said.
The diocese said Fitzgerald requested that he begin retirement. Zubik granted the request.
According to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, there have been no other allegations of sexual abuse against Fitzgerald, who maintains his innocence.