Priest at parish in Pittsburgh's Greenfield neighborhood put on leave after sex abuse accusation
By Brian C. Rittmeyer
October 13, 2018
The priest at a church in Pittsburgh’s Greenfield neighborhood has been accused of sexually abusing a child in the mid-1980s.
Bishop David Zubik has placed Joseph Reschick, 67, on administrative leave, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced Saturday. That action was taken earlier this week, the Rev. Nicholas Vaskov, diocesan spokesman, said.
Reschick could not be reached for comment.
Reschick has been serving as pastor of St. Rosalia Parish. The diocese said in a statement that Reschick denies the allegation, which Vaskov said was reported to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.
Mike Manko, a spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said he could not confirm that until Monday.
No details of the allegation were provided. Vaskov could not provide any additional information on the allegation, including the age and gender of the child allegedly involved.
“This is the first allegation of child sexual abuse that the diocese has received against Father Reschick,” the statement said.
According to the statement, Zubik sent letters this weekend to all of the parishes where Reschick has served. Vaskov said Reschick had served at three other parishes in Allegheny County, but could not immediately name them.
Priests on administrative leave may not engage in public ministry, dress as priests or present themselves as priests in good standing.
Vaskov said Reschick is not permitted to live at the St. Rosalia rectory, which was his listed address.
Removing a priest from ministry while an investigation takes place “does not imply guilt,” Zubik wrote. “It is intended to safeguard the course of justice while preserving the rights of everyone involved, including both the person who made the allegation and the person against whom an allegation has been made.”
If it is determined Reschick did what he is accused of, the restrictions become permanent, Zubik said in the statement.
“If it is determined that the allegation is unfounded, all that is possible will be done to restore his reputation and return him to ministry,” the bishop wrote.