Priest Who Died in 2004 Accused of Sexual Abuse at Central Catholic in 1960s

Post Gazette
February 7, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh on Thursday said it received an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor against a priest when he was teaching at Central Catholic High School.

The allegation against Father John O’Brien, who died in 2004, dates to the mid-1960s.

No details were released about the alleged abuse.

Father O’Brien was a Christian brother known as Brother Firmilian John at the time of the alleged abuse. He was ordained as a priest in 1975.

It’s the first accusation that the diocese or the Christian Brothers have received against Father O’Brien, according to the diocese.

He was not one of the Pittsburgh-area priests whose names were released in last year’s grand jury report about clergy sex abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses.

The diocese said it reported the allegation to the Allegheny County district attorney’s office. Central Catholic alumni and parishes where Father O’Brien served as a priest are also being notified.








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