NY Deacon Removed from Church Following Abuse Allegations
By Gillian Mohney
September 29, 2013
|Deacon Albert J. Mazza of the Holy Name of Mary parish in Croton-on-Hudson is shown in this photo. |
The Archdiocese of New York has removed a deacon from the church over allegations that he abused minors.
Albert Mazza was removed from the Holy Name of Mary Parish in Croton-on-Hudson, NY., after an investigation by police revealed that there was evidence he had allegedly abused minors, according to a statement from church officials.
Catholic Church in Crisis Over Scandal
The announcement was made by Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan in a letter to the parishioners of Mazza's church. The letter was read during Sunday mass by Father Edward Weber, the director of priest personnel for the Archdiocese of New York.
According to Dolan's letter, an investigation by the Westchester district attorney found credible evidence of abuse, but prosecutors were "precluded by state law" from bringing charges.
Dolan said charges were made against Mazza that he had "engaged in immoral and illegal conduct with minors" many years ago.
Calls made to a number listed to Albert Mazza were not immediately successful.
Mazza has been a permanent deacon at the parish since 1996.
"As you know, the Church learned a painful lesson in not communicating the abuse of minors to the faithful as soon as it became aware of it," wrote Dolan. "Now, the Church leads the way with action and transparency, with this sad situation here at this parish serving as an example."
Dolan came under fire in 2012 after it was revealed that his old diocese, the archdiocese of Milwaukee, had paid individual sums of $20,000 to priests accused of molesting children while under his leadership.
The church put Mazza on administrative leave immediately after it received the victim's complaint. According to Dolan, two other priests from the same parish have been removed due to allegations that they had abused minors previously.