PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh says a suburban pastor will retire as Vatican authorities ruled that an accusation of child sexual abuse against him hadn’t been proven.
The Rev. John Fitzgerald has been on administrative leave since July 2014 following an allegation that he had abused a minor in the late 1990s in Allegheny and Lawrence counties. The bishop said at the time that Fitzgerald had “denied committing any acts of sexual abuse.”
The diocese said Wednesday that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ruled that the accusation against the 68-year-old Fitzgerald “has not been proven,” meaning that it could not be determined with certainty whether any abuse occurred or did not occur.
Officials said Fitzgerald had requested that he begin retirement and will not exercise public ministry.