Pittsburgh Catholic priest is facing criminal charges; SNAP reacts

Fr. Robert Joseph Cedolia was placed on administrative leave in 2019 after an allegation was made against him through the Reconciliation and Compensation Program for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Diocesan officials claimed that was the first complaint they had against the clergyman. The accusation dated back to the 1990s when Fr. Cedolia worked as pastor of Our Lady of Joy in Plum, Pennsylvania.

Fr. Cedolia is now facing criminal charges.  He is accused of molesting an eight year old boy at the Plum parish. The cleric is charged with aggravated indecent assault of a person under the age of 13, committing a sexual offense against a minor, and corruption of minors. An arraignment is scheduled for July 8, 2021. 

These recent charges stem from sexual assaults on two different occasions in 1998. Sadly, one incident is alleged to have occurred when the young child attended training for his first communion. To us, using the sacraments as a weapon adds to the horrific trauma for this victim.

We are concerned about the current whereabouts of Fr. Cedolia, as the bail is listed as non-monetary and there is no indication that he is incarcerated. We worry that the priest may have access to other children.

We would also like to understand why there was a delay of almost a month between when the criminal complaint was filed on May 24 and when the priest was arrested on June 23, 2021. It seems to us that a lengthy delay on such serious charges may have put additional young lives in danger.

Finally, we would like to know why the Diocese of Pittsburgh does not share Fr. Cedolia's assignment history on their website. This is important information for victims, parents, and the public.

Our thoughts are with this victim, and his strength inspires us. We encourage anyone who may have experienced, witnessed or suspected sexual abuse by Fr. Cedolia to report immediately to law enforcement.

CONTACT: Michael McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected],  267.261.0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517.974.9009) Judy Block-Jones, SNAP Leader, ([email protected], 314-974-5003

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