Catholic priest from Prospect accused of sexual abuse of a minor placed on administrative leave |

Catholic priest from Prospect accused of sexual abuse of a minor placed on administrative leave

Michael DiVittorio
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh officials placed a Prospect parish leader on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

Father Joseph Feltz, 65, was accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the mid-1980s, officials said via news release Saturday.

The allegation was made in a recent lawsuit against the diocese.

Bishop David Zubik sent letters this weekend at all parishes where Feltz served, which most recently was St. Christopher Parish in Prospect.

Officials said Feltz denied the allegation, which has been reported to law enforcement.

A voicemail left on Feltz’s phone was not immediately returned.

He may not engage in public ministry, dress as a priest or otherwise present himself as a priest in good standing, like all priests on administrative leave.

Officials said his faculties for ministry will be restored if an investigation proves the allegation is unsubstantiated.

Zubik’s letter said that the diocese will follow its policies and those of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Zubik also stressed that removing a priest from ministry while an investigation takes place “does not imply guilt.”

“It is intended to safeguard the course of justice while preserving the rights of everyone involved, including both the person who made the allegation and the person whom allegation has been made (against),” Zubik wrote.

Feltz’s restrictions will become permanent if the allegations are found to be true, wrote Zubik.

Anyone who has been harmed by someone representing the church can contact the Diocesan Assistance Coordinator at 888-808-1235 or the state abuse hotline at 800-932-0313.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.