Findlay Pastor Placed On Leave Following Arrest

The Diocese of Toledo has placed Father Michael Zacharias on administrative leave effective immediately.

The Pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Findlay was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday morning on child sex abuse charges.

The FBI says Zacharias, 53, has engaged in sexual conduct with minors since the late 1990s.

“I am profoundly shocked and grieved to learn of these charges against one of our priests,” said Bishop Daniel Thomas.

“The Church cannot and will not tolerate any such behavior and takes any sexual abuse or misconduct on the part of a cleric with the utmost seriousness. As we await the outcome of the criminal investigation, our prayers go out to anyone affected by this situation.”

The Diocese says Father Zacharias was ordained a priest in 2002 and these are the first such allegations to be raised against him.

The Diocese says, in accordance with the Policy for the Protection of Minors and Young People, while on administrative leave, Father Zacharias cannot exercise public priestly ministry, administer any of the Sacraments, wear clerical attire or present himself as a priest.

“I am distraught by the news of the arrest of Father Michael Zacharias,” said Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn.

“These allegations are not taken lightly, and the Findlay Police Department and our community at large will support the full and thorough investigation by the FBI. Such abuse of power, and perversion of sexuality is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by any organization, individual, or society.”



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