Pensacola Priest Removed Amid Accusations

Aug 28, 2018

Monsignor James Flaherty
Credit Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese

A second priest in the Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocese — this one based in Pensacola — has been removed from the pulpit.

Bishop William Wack has asked Monsignor James Flaherty to “step away from his duties” in a number of offices, including as judicial vicar and director of priestly formation.

Neither Wack nor Flaherty was available for comment on Monday.

Diocese spokeswoman Sharmane Adams says the decision to remove Flaherty was made a couple of days after another priest and two parishioners claimed “non-specific concerns”  which do not involve sexual abuse of a minor. However, there’s no word on whether they involve similar misconduct with an adult.

Flaherty had been transferred from St. John the Evangelist in Pensacola – where he was pastor – to become parish administrator at St. Paul in May of last year. According to parishioners, Flaherty had been removed from St. Paul's earlier this year.

Flaherty is no longer be assigned to any parish in the diocese, but Adams says he is allowed to celebrate Mass in his home.

This removal of Flaherty comes about two weeks after Father Edward Jones was dismissed as pastor of two Tallahassee-based parishes, after an accusation of inappropriate contact involving a minor from about 14 years ago.