Diocese Received Prior Complaint about Priest

By Dennis Yusko
Albany Times Union
October 28, 2009

Spokesman says person came forward "some time ago" about sexual contact

WYNANTSKILL -- The Albany Roman Catholic Diocese had received a complaint "some time ago" alleging that the Rev. Salvatore Rodino had made inappropriate sexual contact with a minor, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The diocese recently suspended Rodino, a priest at St. Jude the Apostle Church since 2005, after finding "reasonable grounds" to believe he had sexual contact with a male teenage minor 27 years ago while at Blessed Sacrament Church in Albany. Rodino, 58, was placed on administrative leave after the diocese looked into the allegations, made this summer.

But speaking Tuesday night outside St. Jude's, where church and diocese officials were meeting with upset parishioners, diocese spokesman Kenneth Goldfarb said it had received a prior allegation "some time ago" that Rodino allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor.

"An investigation was unable to find enough evidence and reasonable grounds that it occurred," Goldfarb said, adding that he was unable to elaborate.

He spoke as victims of childhood sexual abuse held a night vigil outside the church and as the Rev. Ronald Menty and diocese officials spoke privately to dozens of church members inside the church. Many supported Rodino, who has claimed he is innocent.

"He is the best man ever, wrongly accused," said Patti Mugrace of Troy. Rodino attracted churchgoers from throughout the region and helped get St. Jude's out of debt, she said.

Goldfarb said diocese and church officials were meeting with church members Tuesday to answer questions and concerns about the suspension process. "It's a very unfortunate circumstance," he said.

Rodino, aa 1969 graduate of La Salle Institute of North Greenbush, also served at St. Bonaventure in Speigletown, St. Pius X in Loudonville and St. Margaret Mary's in Albany. He was a chaplain at La Salle.

Members of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Capital Region Chapter, carried signs outside the church. One read, "We support the victims."

"This is a vigil, a show of support for the individual who was brave enough to come forward and speak out," said Mark Lyman, the chapter's coordinator.

Reach Dennis Yusko at 454-5353 or


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