Priest Who Taught at Cardinal Hayes Fired; Admitted to Abuse, Taking Money
January 6, 2014
School officials informed parents Monday that a priest at Cardinal Hayes High School has admitted to abuse and has been fired.
Father Robert Harrison, a Franciscan priest who has been at the school since 1989, was investigated for mishandling money, according to school officials. He admitted to borrowing, and in some cases skimming, money from different places and people then using it to pay off a minor he sexually abused decades ago.
Harrison went on to admit, according to the Archdiocese, that he abused 10 minors in the 1970s and 80s in Manhattan, the Bronx and Milwaukee. There is no word on how much money was allegedly misused.
The case is now under investigation by the Bronx District Attorney's Office. There is no indication that students at Hayes were abused by him.
A letter was sent Monday to students and parents alerting them to Harrison's admission of sexual abuse. It said that Harrison was fired when the details came to light Dec. 22, and was removed from public ministry.
Harrison has been turned over to his Franciscan order, the letter said.
The letter asked parents with any concerns or suspicions to contact the Bronx District Attorney.
The father's religious order, the Province of St. Joseph's, issued a statement that read in part:
"The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin. We know there have been times when children and youth entrusted to our care have been harmed; for that we are deeply sorry."
The Bronx DA adds the statute of limitations ran out on the case and that there have been no complaints.