|Fr. Rodino Supported by Parishoners
By Danielle Sanzone
January 9, 2010
WYNANTSKILL — It’s been more than two months since Rev. Salvatore “Sam” Rodino was suspended from his position at St. Jude the Apostle parish for alleged sexual impropriety, but his flock of loyal parishioners still support him and have been conducting its own investigation into the matter.
“I think they thought people would get over this after a couple of weeks, but that is not the case at all,” said Denise Ryan, a member of the Wynantskill parish. “We will never leave him. The support will not stop. They did this to him, so they did it to us as well.”
The St. Jude parish has contacted all of Rodino’s old positions and they have not found anything negative in his past, said Ryan.
“This did not just hurt him, it hurt hundreds of people,” said Ryan. “The kids’ hearts have been broken and the teens still cry about it. They cry like they just lost a parent. All of his old churches have been supportive of him. I do not think he did it. I stake my son’s life on it.”
The church has 1,100 families and a majority of them have been continuing to show support for Rodino. Some have purchased newspaper ads in support of the priest (See Page 12).
The Albany Roman Catholic Diocese said Rodino purportedly engaged in sexual misconduct with a teenager in the 1980s.
“It’s understandable that they have remained so loyal,” said Diocese spokesman Ken Goldfarb.
The official process with the Diocese started months before Rodino was suspended at the end of October. A review panel, with seven members, conducted an investigation and found that the anonymous accuser’s claims had reasonable grounds to be true.
Rodino has not been allowed to practice any of the holy sacraments or wear his priest garb in public since his suspension.
He has shown interest in appealing and that “could take a long time,” said Goldfarb, adding that the ultimate decision would come from the Vatican.
Ryan, a Sycaway resident, said she has known Rodino for nearly five years, since around the time her son started kindergarten at St. Jude, and when Rodino began as the church’s pastor. In the past several years, she described how Rodino connected the parish in more than a spiritual way and they became like a family.
“He has a way to get everyone connected,” she said.
Rodino, who was unable to be reached for comment, had also worked at La Salle Institute in Troy, Bishop Maginn High School in Albany, St. Patrick’s Academy in Catskill, and Catholic Central High School in Lansingburgh.
Rev. Anthony Ligato has since become the St. Jude’s pastor.
Danielle Sanzone may be reached at 270-1292 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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