Bishop Zubik's Letter to Parishioners
April 17, 2012
Dear Parishioners of Saint Lawrence O’Toole Parish:
This past week, officials at the Diocese received a very serious allegation concerning your pastor, Father James Graham. As a result of that allegation, I have immediately placed Father Graham on administrative leave.
The allegation against Father Graham involved a minor a number of years ago. Though the allegation concerns events from many years ago, the length of time makes no difference. The allegation has been judged to have what we describe as a “semblance of truth” – that the timing and circumstances surrounding the allegation fit the facts that are known. It does not mean, however, that a definite judgment has been reached.
Under the policies of the Diocese of Pittsburgh a priest must be placed on administrative leave when an allegation has been determined to have a semblance of truth. This means Father Graham cannot celebrate the sacraments publicly or continue to actively serve as your pastor.
The allegation has been turned over to civil authorities. Father Graham will remain on administrative leave as this allegation is investigated. I will keep you informed as the investigation continues.
I want to encourage you to come forward if you or a loved one has experienced abusive behavior by a member of the clergy or anyone who represents the Church, regardless of how long ago that might have been. You may call the Victim’s Assistance Hotline of the Diocese of Pittsburgh at 1-888-808-1235. There is also a secular Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-932-0313.
Please know of my prayers for all victims of abuse and their loved ones. Please also know of my prayers for you, the parishioners of Saint Lawrence O’Toole, and for Father Graham. Please keep me in your prayers as well.
Grateful for our belief that “Nothing is impossible with God,” I am,
Your brother in Christ,
Most Reverend David A. Zubik Bishop of Pittsburgh