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GREENFIELD (KDKA) – At the Sunday morning Mass at St. Rosalia’s Roman Catholic Church in Greenfield, many parishioners found out in a letter read from the pulpit that that their longtime priest, Fr. Joseph Reschick, is now facing an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor from nearly three decades ago.

The 67-uear-old has been placed on administrative leave and suspended from public ministry, for now.

“In this country, a man is innocent until proven guilty. I just wonder whether there are some people taking advantage of what happened, and they make unsubstantiated charges,” parishioner Bob Javlonowski said

Father Joseph Reschick (Photo Courtesy of The Diocese of Pittsburgh)

The diocese first made the announcement on Saturday that Fr. Reschick has been relieved of his priestly duties, which means, among other things, he cannot celebrate the sacraments, and he’s been placed on administrative leave by Bishop David Zubik.

“Fr. Reschick has been here through thick and thin; the awful times we go through as a parish community. As far as this is concerned, I don’t believe it, I don’t,” Michael Bartley, who is a member of the St. Rosalia Parish Church Council, said.

Meghan Schiller’s Report:

The case will be turned over to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office for a review. A spokesman for the DA says they have not yet received paperwork on the case.

Rev. Nicholas Vaskov, a spokesman for the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese, said, “Nothing will begin here until the district attorney completes their review of the case. Then, it goes to the Independent Review Board. They are the ones who will look at the allegations, hear from the person who made them, and from Fr. Reschick to see if the charge is substantiated or not.”

The allegation in question involves abuse of a minor. And, the diocese says this is the first time it has received a complaint about the prominent St. Rosalia priest which involves a minor.