Diocese of Pittsburgh to send letters to 2 parishes after priest accused of abuse in New Hampshire

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Letters will be sent to members of two Catholic parishes and alumni of Serra Catholic High School asking if anyone was harmed by a Franciscan priest who served there in the 1990s and who was recently revealed to have been accused of molesting a boy in New Hampshire in the late 1980s.

The Rev. Michael Ledoux, a Franciscan Friar from the Province of the Immaculate Conception in New York, was pastor of St. Pamphilus in Beechview from 1993-95, principal of Serra from 1995-2000 and said Mass regularly at St. Angela Merici in White Oak in 1999-2000, said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The pastors of the two parishes will make announcements this weekend and send letters asking parishioners to contact either the diocesan or Pennsylvania state abuse hotlines if they were harmed by Father Ledoux "or anyone representing the church," he said. An identical letter will be sent by the principal and superintendant of Serra Catholic to all alumni, he said.

Father Ledoux, who had spent the past nine years working at Widener University near Philadelphia, recently resigned after it was revealed that in 2003 the Diocese of Manchester, N.H., received a complaint that he had molested a minor in 1986 or 1987, when he was a assigned to a parish in Derry, N.H.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh maintains no running files on Father Ledoux because he isn't a diocesan priest, Father Lengwin said. However "no allegation was made to us at all while he was in Pittsburgh," he said.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests released documents on the 2003 accusation and had announced plans for two or three of its members to protest outside the Pittsburgh chancery today, demanding that the diocese seek out anyone who Father Ledoux might have victimized.

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Ann Rodgers: arodgers@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1416.


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