Monroe Priest Placed on Leave

By Seattle Times
Seattle Times

July 7, 2008

The Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese has placed a Monroe priest on administrative leave after he was recently accused of sexually abusing a minor in the late 1960s.

This is the second allegation against the Rev. Michael C. OBrien, pastor of St. Mary of the Valley church in Monroe.

OBrien had been placed on leave in 2004, while an archdiocesan board reviewed a different allegation. In that instance, the review board looked into an old 1993 allegation accusing the priest of abusing a teenage boy during a canoe trip. The review board found the allegation to be not credible, and OBrien who denied the accusation was returned to active ministry.

Seattle Archbishop Alex J. Brunett said the current case would be investigated with "due speed," and based on the review board's findings, would either reinstate OBrien or continue the priest's leave pending action by the Vatican.

Brunett urged anyone with knowledge of allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by an archdiocesan employee to call the archdiocesan hotline at 800-446-7762.


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