Priest placed on leave
4/19/2012 9:01:00 AM
The Albany Diocese has placed a Greene County priest on administrative leave from ministry pending the outcome of investigations into allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The Diocese has referred the allegations to the Greene County District Attorney’s Office.
Rev. Jeremiah Nunan, 74, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Cairo and Our Lady of Knock Mission in East Durham, is temporarily barred from officiating at any sacraments, wearing clerical garb or presenting himself as a priest.
The Diocese acted after a civil lawsuit was filed claiming that Father Nunan sexually abused an individual between 1996 and 2003 when the individual was a minor and between 2007 and 2011 when the individual was an adult. The lawsuit named as defendants Father Nunan, one of the parishes and the Diocese. Father Nunan has denied the allegations.
The Diocese has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse of children by clerics. Any priest or deacon against whom an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is substantiated at any time is permanently removed from ministry.
This is the second time Father Nunan has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese during an investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. The previous allegation, received in 2006 and involving alleged abuse in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Hudson, was investigated by the Independent Mediation Assistance Program and could not be substantiated. As a result, the Diocese restored Father Nunan to ministry.
Father Nunan joined the Albany Diocese in 1963 after graduating from a seminary in Ireland, and has served at St. Henry’s parish in Averill Park, St. Mary’s in Little Falls, Our Lady of the Assumption in Latham and St. Mary’s in Hudson, and as chaplain for the Columbia Memorial Hospital School for Nursing.
The Diocese is arranging for other priests to celebrate Mass and perform other ministerial duties at the two parishes in Father Nunan’s absence.
The Diocese urges anyone who as a child was sexually abused by a Catholic priest or deacon to report the matter to a law enforcement agency or to the Diocese. To report an incident of abuse or to seek help, please contact the Diocese’s assistance coordinator, Theresa Rodrigues, at (518) 453-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.