Greene County Priest Placed on Administrative Leave
By Ken Goldfarb
Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany
April 14, 2012
ALBANY, N.Y. — The Albany Roman Catholic Diocese has placed a Greene County priest on administrative leave from ministry pending the outcome of investigations into allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The Diocese has referred the allegations to the Greene County District Attorney's Office.
Rev. Jeremiah Nunan, 74, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Cairo and Our Lady of Knock Mission in East Durham, is temporarily barred from officiating at any sacraments, wearing clerical garb, or presenting himself as a priest. The Diocese's action is being announced at weekend Masses at the two parishes.
The Diocese acted after a civil lawsuit was filed claiming that Rev. Nunan sexually abused an individual between 1996 and 2003 when the individual was a minor and between 2007 and 2011 when the individual was an adult. The lawsuit named as defendants Rev. Nunan, one of the parishes and the Diocese. Rev. Nunan has denied the allegations.
The Albany Diocese has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse of children by clerics. Any priest or deacon against whom an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is substantiated at any time is permanently removed from ministry.
This is the second time Rev. Nunan has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese during an investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. The previous allegation, received in 2006 and involving alleged abuse in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Hudson, was investigated by the Independent Mediation Assistance Program, and could not be substantiated. As a result, the Diocese restored Rev. Nunan to ministry.
Rev. Nunan joined the Albany Diocese in 1963 after graduating from a seminary in Ireland, and has served at St. Henry's in Averill Park, St. Mary's in Little Falls, Assumption parish in Latham, St. Mary's in Hudson, and as chaplain for the Columbia Memorial Hospital School for Nursing.
The Albany Diocese is arranging for other priests to celebrate Mass and perform other ministerial duties at the two parishes in Rev. Nunan's absence.
The Albany Diocese urges anyone who as a child was sexually abused by a Catholic priest or deacon to report the matter to a law enforcement agency or to the Diocese. To report an incident of abuse or to seek help, please contact the Diocese's assistance coordinator, Theresa F. Rodrigues, at (518) 453-6646 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is one of eight such dioceses in New York State. It is comprised of 14 counties and covers an area of more than 10,400 square miles in and around the Capital Region of New York. There are more than 360,000 Catholics residing in the Diocese, who are served by more than 125 parishes.