Sewickley Priest Takes Leave after Accusations Made against Him

By Jenny Wagner
Times Online
May 29, 2012

A Sewickley priest has taken a leave of absence from his ministry while the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office investigates an allegation made against him, Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese officials said Tuesday.

The Rev. Daniel A. Valentine, pastor of St. James Catholic Church on Walnut Street, began his leave May 19 after officials received a complaint involving Facebook posts Valentine allegedly made to a minor, according to the Rev. Ron Lengwin, diocese spokesman.

Lengwin said as per church policies, the complaint was turned over to the district attorney’s office.

Bishop David Zubik said in a letter to parishioners posted on the church’s website that he has instructed diocese staff to perform a forensic audit on the church’s computers and Valentine’s personal computer.

Mike Manko, spokesman for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., confirmed that the office received a referral from the diocese concerning Valentine but would not comment further.

Zubik said in his letter that “the DA’s office informed the diocese that while the postings were a matter of poor judgment, there was no criminal activity involved.”

Lengwin said Valentine, who has served at the Sewickley parish since 2006, has fully cooperated with the district attorney’s investigation and will remain on leave until it is completed. “It is Bishop Zubik’s hope that he will be able to return Father Valentine to ministry soon,” Lengwin said.

In the mean time, parishioners last weekend were informed that the Rev. Samuel J. Esposito, episcopal vicar for the parish, will serve as temporary administrator of the church, Lengwin said.

Valentine, a Bethel Park native, was ordained for the diocese in 1974 and served previously as pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in West Mifflin.









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