NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – As the sun shines down on Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne, N.Y., a cloud of suspicion hovers over its parish priest and three other priests in the New York archdiocese now facing allegations of abusing children several decades ago.
The four clergy of the Archdiocese Of New York have been accused of abuse with minors, cases not included in the special investigation released two weeks ago.
The men, three pastors and a member of the archdiocese administration office, have been placed on administrative leave.
The accusations include 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. Msgr. Edward Weber, director of the Priest Personnel Office in the archdiocese.
The allegations surfaced less than two months after the Child Victim’s Act went into effect, lifting for one year the statute of limitations on civil cases for the sexual abuse of children or young people.
The newspaper Catholic New York reported this week that the prelates’ ministries are temporarily restricted.
In a letter sent to members of three different parishes, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the spiritual head of the archdiocese, says the leave “is not a punishment,” and that the men are presumed innocent pending the outcome of an independent investigation.
Dolan said the cases have been reported to the District Attorney’s Office, and outside investigators will assess the allegations before a presentation to the Lay Review Board that will determine whether each priest is suitable to return to ministry.
On Sept. 30, a special investigator concluded a year-long review into how the archdiocese handled the child sex abuse scandal.
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Former federal judge Barbara Jones said all of the complaints received over the last several years involved alleged conduct from years, sometimes decades, ago. She noted most of the priests in question have since died.
She said there have only been two substantiated complaints of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest in the archdiocese after 2002, and the archdiocese is effectively investigating each complaint.
The new cases were not reflected in Jones’ report.
In the new accusations, Dolan asked anyone with information about these or other cases to contact the district attorney. He also said they could contact the archdiocese’s victims assistance coordinator, Eileen Mulcahy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646) 794-2949.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)