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Former Westchester Priest Suspended For Sexual Misconduct, Cardinal Timothy Dolan Says

Father John Duffell
Father John Duffell Photo Credit: Church of the Blessed Sacrament

A New York priest who began his career in Westchester has been suspended from the ministry after sexual allegations with an adult were reported to the Manhattan's District Attorney's Office.

Father John Duffell, the former leader of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Manhattan, was directed on July 1, by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, "not to publicly exercise his priestly ministry due to an allegation from the past that he abused his position of authority in a violation of his promise of celibacy," the Cardinal said in a letter to the parish.

Immediately following the suspension, Duffell, 75, announced that he was retiring.

Dolan said, no minors were involved in the alleged misconduct. 

"It is important that the archdiocese take such allegations seriously," Dolan added.

Over the years Duffell has been a big supporter of the LGBTQ community and developed a friendship with singer/actress Lady Gaga. 

In 2017, He partnered with Gaga's Born This Way Foundation to hold a fundraising event at his church.

Due to the support, Duffell received criticism from the religious community for setting up a gay fellowship at Blessed Sacrament. He was also known for opening each of his sermons by saying the church welcomes “everyone with no distinction, regardless of race or sexuality.”

Duffell, who recently celebrated 50 years in the ministry, was the youngest pastor appointed to the Archdiocese when he began at St. Peter's Church in Yonkers. 

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