Priest Removed for Alleged New Jersey Sex Abuse
Associated Press State & Local Wire
May 1, 2002
A Roman Catholic diocese in the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis has removed a priest because of an allegation that he sexually abused a New Jersey minor in the 1970s, diocese officials announced Wednesday.
Officials with the Belleville, Ill., diocese said its Fitness Review Board recommended administrative leave for the Rev. Edward Balestrieri as parochial administrator of the St. Mary Parish in Sesser. The action came after the Trenton Diocese last week relayed an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor while the priest was assigned in Asbury Park, N.J., in 1975 or 1976.
Balestrieri is the first Belleville Diocese priest accused since the sex-abuse scandal emerged nationwide this year. The diocese created the review board to help eliminate abusers from the clergy after a string of cases in the early 1990s.
The temporary removal means the review board has heard credible evidence but will investigate further before recommending a final action to Bishop Wilton Gregory, said Kenneth York, chancellor of the Belleville Diocese.
Balestrieri, 71, is being monitored and questioned by church officials at an undisclosed location away from the rectory and is not available to speak publicly, York said. He will be evaluated by a psychologist as part of the investigation.
"He's not allowed to have contact with children," York said. "He cannot celebrate Mass publicly. He is not to wear the collar."
York said the diocese has received no allegations of misconduct by Balestrieri since he came to Illinois in 1985. Civil authorities in Monmouth County, N.J., have been alerted to the case.
"Each time we face an allegation of this nature, it is a difficult and traumatic event for the victim or victims, for their families, for our parishes, for the local community and for the priests and their families," Gregory said. "I will continue to act in the most forthright manner possible in responding to these cases where children may be at risk."
The diocese offers counseling to both the victims and the priests, he said.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems