Sewickley priest investigated for Facebook posts holds final mass



SEWICKLEY, Pa. - A Sewickley priest officially held his final mass Wednesday night, even after investigators said no charges would be filed against him following a complaint about Facebook postings to a minor.

The Rev. Daniel Valentine of St. James Catholic Church began his leave of absence on May 19 because of a complaint about online posts.

Following an investigation by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, which ended late in June, officials said no criminal charges were warranted.

In a letter published on the St. James website, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said the DA's office "informed the Diocese that while the postings were a matter of poor judgment, there was no criminal activity involved."

The Rev. Ronald Lengwin said Valentine decided to resign “for the good of the parish.”

"The reason he gave was that he needs time to find some peace in his life to address the number of personal issues while he remains on his personal leave of absence," Lengwin said.

Clergy sex abuse victims and supporters greeted church-goers and handed out fliers urging church officials to provide more information about the priest and to seek out and help anyone who suffered any misconduct by the priest.

Valentine, a Bethel Park native, was transferred in June 2006 to St. James from Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin.

He will be replaced by the Rev. Thomas Burke, who is the pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Braddock. Burke will begin Aug. 27, Lengwin said.