Pennsylvania Priest Case Set for Jury Trial After Multiple Delays

(For Immediate Release September 15, 2022) 

Robert Cedolia, a priest who worked in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pa., has yet to be brought to justice and the victim watches the wheels of justice slowing down. In 2019, he was placed on leave following a complaint to the IRCP (Reconciliation Compensation Program) that he sexually molested an 8-year-old boy in 1998 while pastor of Our Lady of Joy in Plum, Pa. His alleged victim said the priest assaulted him twice while he was preparing for first communion. Cedolia disputed the charges. In April 2021, he was accused criminally in a complaint.

Using the sacraments as a weapon, in our opinion, adds to the victim's horrible agony. However, the protracted wait in this instance is also problematic. Following many extensions due to a change in defense counsel, status hearings, and scheduling, another extension sets a jury trial for November 2022.

We are concerned about Fr. Cedolia's present location because his bail was set in 2021 and there is no sign that he is detained. We are concerned that the priest may have access to more children as a result of the delay. Furthermore, the IRCP was used to present this allegation which resulted in subsequent charges. To the best of our knowledge, each case that has not previously been known to the diocese must also go through a canonical investigation. The Diocese of Pittsburgh has yet to disclose any findings against Cedolia because doing so would demonstrate openness and accountability, something church officials have been unable to do. Following SNAP's persistent demands, Cedolia is now mentioned on the Diocese of Pittsburgh website.

While we understand that the Covid-19 pandemic halted many proceedings in courts globally, we would hope that court administrators could prioritize the more serious cases such as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Robert Cedolia.

Further delay in court proceedings deprives victims of power, control, and dignity. We stand in solidarity with the brave victim who stepped forward and admire his courage and endurance. Our hope is that no further court continuances happen in this case.

CONTACT:  Mike McDonnell, Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

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