Four NY priests placed on leave; accused of abuse that goes back decades

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New York — The New York Archdiocese has placed four of its priests — three pastors and the director of priest personnel — on administrative leave following an allegation of abuse with minors dating back several decades.

The three pastors are Msgr. Edward Barry of Holy Rosary Parish in Hawthorne, Father William Luciano of Blessed Sacrament Parish in New Rochelle and Msgr. James White of St. Vito-Most Holy Trinity Parish in Mamaroneck. The fourth priest is Msgr. Edward Weber, director of the archdiocesan Priest Personnel Office. Their ministries have been temporarily restricted.

"As is our practice, we reported this to the District Attorney's Office," New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said in letters sent to the three parishes Oct. 3. "The archdiocese will now follow its policy and protocols, which include having outside independent investigators look into and assess the allegation, before presenting it to our independent Lay Review Board.

"At the conclusion of their deliberations, the board will determine whether the allegation has been substantiated, which will determine whether (the priest) is suitable to return to ministry."

The cardinal added: "This leave is not a punishment, and no judgment has been made about the accusation," saying the priests "continue to have the presumption of innocence."

Catholic New York, the archdiocesan newspaper, reported Oct. 10 that in the cases of  White and Weber, the Lay Review Board must wait until the civil litigation under the Child Victims Act in New York has concluded before its review can begin.

Dolan asked anyone with information about these or other allegations to contact the district attorney. He also said they could contact the archdiocese's victims assistance coordinator, Eileen Mulcahy, at victimsassistance@archny.org or (646) 794-2949.

The cardinal concluded his letters by requesting prayers for the person who brought the allegation, the priests and "all those whose lives have been touched by sexual abuse wherever it occurred."

Dolan has assigned temporary administrators to the three parishes.


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