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Priest Placed on Administrative Leave

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Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Diocese of Raleigh, announced Saturday, September 26, that Father Edgar Sepulveda, Pastor of Maria Reina Parish in Mt. Olive, Santa Teresa Mission in Beulaville and Santa Clara Mission in Magnolia has been placed on an administrative leave of absence from the parish. This action has been taken by the Diocese of Raleigh in light of an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor made against Father Sepulveda.

The Diocese received the allegation on September 9 when the Diocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection was contacted by telephone. The Diocese immediately implemented its policies and procedures, which include reporting the allegation to the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. An investigation into the allegation is currently underway by civil authorities, which necessitates Father Sepulveda’s administrative leave at this time.

The Bishop extends his gratitude to Father Martin Restrepo, Parochial Vicar of Maria Reina Parish and its missions, for his leadership in the parish during this period. In addition, the Bishop expresses his gratitude to Fr. Carlos Arce, Vicar for Hispanics, for his assistance. The Bishop has assured the parishioners of his prayers.

The Diocese has also arranged for outreach services to parishioners that may be needed in light of this reported allegation. The Diocese of Raleigh will continue to work with parish leadership during this difficult time until this matter is resolved.