Priest placed on leave following abuse allegation

Thursday, September 05, 2019 - Updated: 2:07 pm

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has placed on administrative leave Father Robert Cedolia, priest-administrator of the parishes of St. Clare in Clairton, Holy Spirit in West Mifflin, St. Thomas à Becket in Jefferson Hills and St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Pleasant Hills.

The diocese responded to an accusation made through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, stating that Father Cedolia allegedly sexually abused a minor in the 1990s while he served as pastor of Our Lady of Joy Parish in Holiday Park.

Father Cedolia has been a priest in active ministry for 41 years. This is the first allegation that has ever been raised involving Father Cedolia. He denies the accusation.

Safety of young people is of utmost concern to the diocese, which follows its procedures in response to such allegations.

Father Cedolia has taken up a temporary residence while this allegation is looked into further. While he is on administrative leave he is not allowed to engage in public ministry, cannot administer the sacraments, dress in clerical attire or identify himself as a priest. If a determination is made that Father Cedolia did what he is accused of, those restrictions will become permanent. If it is determined that the allegation is unfounded, all that is possible will be done to restore Father Cedolia’s reputation and return him to ministry.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office has been notified of the allegation.

The diocese continues as a faith community to pray for all victims/survivors, and to encourage victims/survivors of clergy abuse to come forward. If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused by a representative of the diocese, contact the Office for Victim Assistance at 1-888-808-1235. If the victim is still a minor, contact PA Childline at 1-800-932-0313.

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