A longtime area Catholic priest has been placed on administrative leave following an allegation of child abuse from years ago.
Monsignor Edward Weber, the director of Priest Personnel Office in the archdiocese, is one of four priests in the Archdiocese of New York to be placed on leave following new allegations, said an article in the Catholic New York, the archdiocese's newspaper.
The three other priests 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, have had their ministries temporarily restricted, the diocese said.
Letters were sent from Cardinal Dolan to parishioners of the three parishes on Thursday, Oct. 3.
“As is our practice, we reported this to the District Attorney’s Office, Dolan wrote. "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.”
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.
Weber is well known in the Hudson Valley, having served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish in West Nyack since 1994, and as regional vicar of Rockland County since 2002.
He also served at St. Margaret of Cortona, in the Bronx; and St. Margaret Mary and St. Sylvester’s, on Staten Island.
The abuse reportedly occurred during his time on Staten Island.
In the letter, the cardinal said: “This leave is not a punishment, and no judgment has been made about the accusation,” and added that the priests “continue to have the presumption of innocence.”
Anyone with information about these or other allegations is asked to contact the district attorney or the archdiocese’s victims assistance coordinator, Eileen Mulcahy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646) 794-2949.
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