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Priest on leave, accused of inappropriate contact with women

PITTSBURGH — The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has placed one of its priests on administrative leave amid accusations of inappropriate contact with women.

Father James Young is under investigation. While on leave, he is not allowed to engage in public ministry, administer the sacraments, dress in clerical attire or identify himself as a priest, according to a letter from Bishop David Zubik.

Young has been serving at three churches: St. Ferdinand in Cranberry Township, St. Gregory in Zelienople and Holy Redeemer in Ellwood City.

Information about the allegations will be brought before the Independent Review Board, which will advise Zubik on whether he is suitable for ministry, the letter said.

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“If a determination is made that Father Young 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 Young's reputation and return him to ministry,” Zubik said.

Parishioners found out about the alleged misconduct at Mass.

“I know him through church and Mass. Definitely surprised, but all I can say is that I’ll keep him and the other person in our prayers,” Barbara Porter, a parishioner of St. Gregory Catholic Church, said.