Priests in Hawthorne, New Rochelle Placed on Leave Amid Abuse Accusations
By Matt Spillane
October 8, 2019
Two more pastors of Catholic churches in Westchester County have been placed on leave amid decades-old accusations of child abuse.
Monsignor Edward Barry of Holy Rosary in Hawthorne and Rev. William Luciano of Blessed Sacrament in New Rochelle have been temporarily restricted from ministry, Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote in letters to parishioners of those two congregations on Oct. 3.
Barry and Luciano have each been accused of inappropriate conduct with a child decades ago, Dolan said. Luciano's allegation stems from the 1980s, Dolan said. No other details were available on the nature of the accusations.
|Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne. (Photo: TJN file photo)|
Dolan added that both priests are presumed innocent while the Archdiocese of New York investigates.
Rev. Sebastian Pandarathikudiyll will serve as temporary administrator of Holy Rosary, while Bishop Gerald Walsh will temporarily oversee Blessed Sacrament.
Dolan's letters to Holy Rosary and Blessed Sacrament parishioners were sent a day after he sent a similar letter to parishioners of St. Vito-Most Holy Trinity Church in Mamaroneck.
Monsignor James White, the pastor of St. Vito-Most Holy Trinity, was placed on administrative leave after someone accused him of abuse dating back to the 1980s, when he was the dean of discipline at Cardinal Hayes High School, an all-boys school in the Bronx.
Dolan said anyone who has information on any allegations is urged to contact prosecutors or the archdiocese's victim's assistance coordinator, Eileen Mulcahy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-794-2949.
The accusations came to light as hundreds of people have filed lawsuits throughout New York under the state's new Child Victims Act, which went into effect in August and opened a one-year window to take legal action over sexual abuse, regardless of how long ago the abuse took place.
These accusations were revealed days after the archdiocese released a report on how it has handled allegations of sexual abuse, and how it plans to improve its policies and procedures going forward.
An independent investigator studied the archdiocese's practices, and found that every priest who has a substantial sex-abuse accusation against him has been removed from ministry.