Pastor placed on administrative leave

Franciscan Father Kevin J. Downey, a priest of the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province, has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation of an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a male minor in 1990 in another state. The investigation is in its early phases and no final determination has been made regarding the allegation.

Father Downey denies the accusation. Like all priests, diocesan employees and volunteers who work with children, he underwent an official background check prior to beginning his service in the Diocese of Arlington.

Law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the incident is alleged to have occurred has been notified and the diocese and the Holy Name Province will cooperate fully with any law enforcement investigation.

Father Downey has served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Triangle since 2011. Previously, he served as pastor of St. Mary's Church in Pompton Lakes, N.J., from 2002 to 2011, as pastor of St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany, N.Y., from 1999 to 2001, as parochial vicar of St. Mary's Church in Pompton Lakes, N.J., from 1993 to 1999, and as parochial vicar at St. Francis Church in Raleigh, N.C., from 1991 to 1993. He served as executive vice president and vice president for development at Quincy University in Illinois from 1983 to 1991.

Franciscan Father John F. O'Connor has been appointed as parochial administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Church.

The diocese encourages anyone who knows of any information related to this case, or of any misconduct or abuse on the part of any cleric or employee of the diocese, to notify civil authorities, as well as to reach out to the diocesan victim assistance coordinators at 703/841-2530.

The diocesan child protection policy is online at arlingtondiocese.org.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016