Pittsburgh High School Chaplain Faces 1969 Claim

Associated Press, carried in York Daily Record
March 5, 2009

PITTSBURGH — A Roman Catholic pastor and chaplain at a Pittsburgh high school is suspended while the church investigates a report that he abused a child 40 years ago.

A Pittsburgh diocesan spokesman said he can't detail the allegation against the Rev. Alvin Adams. But the Rev. Ronald Lengwin said the allegation, if true, would violate the U.S. bishop's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Lengwin said, "Let me say there have been no other allegations against this priest in his nearly 42 years of ministry. so this is the first time an allegation has been made against him."

Lengwin said the church is also referring the accusation to Allegheny County prosecutors.

The diocese will also convene its own review board that will interview the accuser and Adams. Then a recommendation regarding the pastor's future will be made to Bishop David Zubik.

Lengwin said, "The bishop has to make a determination of suitability. Is this priest suitable to return to ministry? If not and he is believed to be guilty then he will never return to ministry again."

The 68-year-old priest has been pastor of Ascension parish in Ingram since July and was also chaplain at Bishop Canevin High School in Pittsburgh.

Adams is now on administrative leave. He can no longer perform pastorial duties such as wearing the Roman collar and not allowed to publicly celebrate the sacraments.


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