Diocese Clears Accused Priest
Daily Freeman [New York]
January 21, 2007
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has cleared a Greene County priest who was accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in the late 1960s.
In a prepared statement issued Saturday, the diocese said it found "no reasonable grounds to believe the allegation of sexual misconduct against the Rev. Jeremiah Nunan."
Nunan, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Cairo and Our Lady of Knock Mission in East Durham, was accused last year by the Rev. Mark Jaufmann, now a priest in California, of sexually abusing Jaufmann multiple times when Jaufmann was 10 years old.
The incidents were alleged to have taken place when Nunan was the pastor at St. Mary's Church in Hudson and Jaufmann, now 50, was a parishioner there.
Nunan took a leave of absence from the Cairo and East Durham churches after Jaufmann leveled his allegations last February. On Saturday, Diocese of Albany spokesman Ken Goldfarb said Nunan "remains a priest in good standing" and that he has "resumed his priestly ministry" at the two churches.
Goldfarb said in the prepared statement that Jaufmann's allegations were investigated by a former FBI special agent working for the Independent Mediation Assistance Program, or IMAP, a body created by the Diocese of Albany in 2004 to look into allegations of abuse against young people by current or former clergy members.
Jaufmann said last June that he met with an IMAP investigator and described, in detail, the abuse he claimed to have suffered.
The diocese said Jaufmann's allegations were thoroughly investigated but could not be substantiated.
The diocese's Sexual Conduct Review Board also reviewed the case, in keeping with diocesan policy, and Bishop Howard J. Hubbard has accepted its findings, Goldfarb said.
Jaufmann, now a priest with the Ecumenical Catholic Communion in California, said when he leveled the allegations that the physical abuse he suffered from Nunan and the emotional abuse inflicted by his own father could be to blame for a lot of the dysfunction in his life.
Jaufmann reported his allegations against Nunan to the city of Hudson Police Department and the Albany County District Attorney's Office in 2004, he said last year, but he didn't bring the matter to Hubbard's attention until early 2006.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany comprises 14 counties in and around the Capital District. More than 400,000 Catholics served by 175 parishes live in the diocese.
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