|Abuse Allegations against Local Priest Surface
By Emily Portoghese
April 20, 2011
The Rev. Edward R. D’Andrea, pastor of Our Lady of the Snow parish in Blue Point, was placed on “administrative leave” recently following allegations of “abuse,” the Diocese of Rockville Centre (DRVC) confirmed in a letter obtained by Patch.
News of D’Andrea’s administrative leave was first brought to light to parishioners during Mass this past weekend on Palm Sunday, the start of the holiest week in the Roman Catholic religion.
Bishop William Murphy, head of the diocese, sent Bishop Peter Libasci to the Blue Point church to inform churchgoers of the situation involving the man many local residents know as Father Ed.
Sean P. Dolan, director of communications for the DRVC, said the diocese received an allegation of abuse against D’Andrea and consistent with the Dallas Charter, notified law enforcement.
The Dallas Charter Dolan referred to is the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People established at the 2002 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops held in Dallas, Texas. It was instituted to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The charter includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of future acts of abuse.
It is not known when the allegations against D’Andrea were made and whether the alleged incident(s) took place during his time at Our Lady of the Snow, where he has served as pastor for more than six years.
A Suffolk County Police spokesperson said they were unaware of any investigation or allegation against D’Andrea. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office referred all calls to the police department.
In written statement, Murphy said he was deeply saddened by the news and that D’Andrea will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of a diocesan investigation. Murphy has appointed the Rev. Msgr. John J. Rowan temporary administrator of Our Lady of the Snow.
Ernest Smith, a parish trustee and Blue Point resident, referred to D’Andrea as a friend and mentor.
“He is someone we have all looked toward from a spiritual perspective for many years. We hope this gets resolved in a most expeditious matter,” Smith said. “But at same time we have a mission at the parish, and we need to move forward.”
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