Pastor resigns; will remain on leave of absence
Father Thomas Burke to lead St. James in Sewickley
In a letter read at all Masses July 28-29 at St. James Parish in Sewickley, Bishop David Zubik announced that there would be no charges filed by the District Attorney's Office concerning Father Daniel Valentine, pastor of St. James.
Father Valentine has been on a leave of absence since late May after a complaint had been received by the diocese involving Facebook postings to a minor. That complaint was passed on to the Allegheny County DA's office.
The office concluded after review of the Facebook postings that there was no criminal activity involved.
But as part of the response to the initial complaint, it was decided that a forensic review of the computers at St. James Parish and Father Valentine's personal laptop computer was required.
Bishop Zubik wrote to the parishioners of St. James that after concluding the forensic review, "the District Attorney's Office has just informed the diocese that no charges against Father Valentine will be filed concerning any of the issues that arose in May."
The bishop also announced that Father Valentine has resigned as pastor of St. James, effective Aug. 15.
Father Thomas Burke, currently pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Braddock, will become the new pastor of St. James, effective Aug. 27.
Bishop Zubik explained to parishioners that Father Valentine "needs time now to find some peace in his life and to address a number of personal issues as he remains on his leave of absence."
In light of the ongoing nature of the investigation, Father Valentine had taken a leave of absence pending the outcome of the investigation.
In a statement read to St. James parishioners along with Bishop Zubik's letter, Father Valentine wrote that "it became apparent to me this past week that I needed to make a decision about my future and the future of the parish, and asked the bishop to accept my resignation for my good and the good of the parish."
"I need time for healing and strengthening as I continue my leave of absence," Father Valentine wrote.
"Throughout this difficult time, Father Valentine has given his full and unqualified cooperation in the investigation of these issues," Bishop Zubik's letter said.