ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Diocese of Allentown has removed another priest from ministry over a sexual abuse allegation.
According to a news release from the diocese, Father Robert J. Potts, 82, has been removed from the ministry pending investigation of an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Potts, who is the pastor of St. Ursula Church in Fountain Hill, was immediately removed after Bishop Alfred Schlert was notified. Bishop Schlert directed that law enforcement be contacted immediately, according to the release.
The abuse allegedly occurred when Father Potts was a pastor at the former St. George Parish in Shenandoah, according to Diocese officials.
"The removal of Father Potts from ministry at this time is not a determination of guilt, but rather a precautionary measure until the appropriate investigations are completed," the diocese said in a statement.
Parishioners of St. Ursula's were informed of the allegation at Masses this weekend. Potts was named pastor of St. Ursula's back in 2006.
Potts was ordained in March 1964. Since then, he has served at parishes in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon and Schuylkill counties.
Potts served at the following parishes:
-- Immaculate Conception, Jim Thorpe 1964-65
-- St. Joseph, Easton 1965-66
-- St. Vincent de Paul, Minersville 1966-67
-- St. Ann, Lansford 1967-68
-- Notre Dame, Bethlehem 1969-70
-- St. Vincent de Paul, Minersville 1970-78
-- St. Bernard, Easton 1978-79
-- Sacred Heart, New Philadelphia 1979-1985
-- St. George, Shenandoah 1985-2004
-- Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Shenandoah 1986-2004
-- St. Stephen, Shenandoah 2001-04
-- St. Mary, Ringtown and St. Joseph, Sheppton 2004–06
-- St. Ursula, Fountain Hill 2006-Present
The Diocese said that anyone who knows of incidents of abuse in the Church or elsewhere should report it to the State Child Line or local law enforcement.