Brockway, PA – The Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, has announced that Msgr. Charles Kaza, pastor of St. Tobias Parish, Brockway, has been reinstated to active ministry.
Members of the parish were notified during Mass on Sunday that Msgr. Kaza will return to his assignment as their pastor effective today, June 1.
Consistent with diocesan policy, Msgr. Kaza had been removed from active ministry and placed on administrative leave on May 13, 2019, as the result of an allegation of abuse made against him.
As noted at that time, Msgr. Kaza cooperated with the investigation.
“We take all allegations very seriously, and this was no exception,” Bishop Persico said.
“This allegation, specifically the identity of the perpetrator, could not be sufficiently substantiated and remains unknown.”
Bishop Persico acknowledged the difficulty involved for everyone concerned, including Msgr. Kaza and his parishioners as well as victims of sexual abuse.
“In these investigations, finding the truth and taking appropriate action for the benefit of the victim remains our goal,” Bishop Persico said.
In making the announcement, Bishop Persico expressed his gratitude to Father Leo Gallina, a retired priest, who served as temporary administrator of St. Tobias Parish during the past year.
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Pastoral care and compassion for victims, as well as the protection of children and vulnerable adults, is a top priority of the Diocese of Erie. The diocese encourages anyone who has experienced sexual abuse or misconduct by a member of the clergy or any employee or volunteer of the church, to contact law enforcement. To report abuse to the independent investigators retained by the Diocese of Erie, email [email protected].
In addition, victims or concerned individuals can report abuse to ChildLine, an outreach of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, by calling 800-932-0313. The line is open 24/7, and callers may choose to remain anonymous. Victims also are welcome to contact the diocese directly to report abuse at 814.451.1543.
Counseling assistance is available for victims and/or their families through the diocesan victim assistance coordinator, Dr. Gerard Tobin, who can be reached at 814.451.1521.