Father Hubert E. Creason, pastor of St. James Parish in Catawissa, has resigned his position following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that occurred some 25 years ago.
A letter from Father Creason was read to parishioners last weekend by Msgr. Richard Stika, chancellor of the archdiocese.
"I am very sorry for ever having offended any minor and God himself," Father Creason wrote, adding that "I want to assure you that nothing of this kind ever happened during the time I have been your pastor."
St. James Parish is located in northern Franklin County near the border with Jefferson County. The dean of the Washington Deanery, Father Richard Coerver, pastor of St. Bridget of Kildare Parish in Pacific, will ensure that a priest is available to celebrate Masses at St. James.
The archdiocese issued a statement May 5 noting that "in accord with our policy Father Creason has resigned." Though the accusation dates back some 25 years, the archdiocese just now learned of it for the first time, the statement noted.
On March 1, Archbishop Rigali announced a more restrictive standard regarding allegations of abuse. The updated policy states that no priest assigned to a parish or other ministry with children has a substantiated allegation of child abuse.
"We remain firm in our resolve to do everything possible to eliminate the evil of sexual abuse of minors," the May 5 statement added.
Father Creason, 69, was ordained in St. Louis in 1958. He served in a missionary apostolate in southern Missouri and then in 1960 was named assistant pastor of the old Ste. Louise de Marillac Parish in Jennings. In 1971 he was named associate pastor of Mary, Queen of Peace Parish in Webster Groves. He was appointed pastor of Ascension Parish in Normandy in 1978, Our Lady, Queen of Peace Parish in House Springs in 1983 and St. James in 1991.