Priest Removed after Abuse Claim
Albany Allegation out of Brooklyn Dates Back to the Late 1950s

By Andrew Tilghman
Times Union
January 14, 2003

A priest who was working part time in the Albany Diocese was removed from ministry this weekend after church leaders in Brooklyn said he may have sexually abused a child almost 50 years ago.

The Rev. Joseph Schuck, 75, who lives in Otsego County and worked at the Sacred Heart parish in Sidney, Delaware County, was placed on administrative leave after an alleged victim contacted the Brooklyn Church and a preliminary investigation found the allegation to be "credible." Sidney is in the 14-county Albany Diocese.

"We are honoring the preliminary investigation they did in Brooklyn," said the Rev. Kenneth Doyle, chancellor for the Albany diocese.

The abuse allegedly occurred in Brooklyn in the late 1950s, Doyle said.

Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard said there have been no allegations leveled against Schuck during his time working in the Albany Diocese. Schuck was ordained in Brooklyn in 1953 and moved upstate in the late 1970s to care for his ailing parents.

Until this weekend, Schuck was a "weekend assistant" at Sacred Heart and also provided religious services for scouts and scout leaders, Albany church officials said. He is now prohibited from doing any ministerial work and cannot celebrate Mass publicly.

In June, Hubbard removed six priests from the Albany Diocese who were known to have abused children during the past 25 years. The church also acknowledged in June that it has paid out $2.3 million in secret settlement payments to victims during the last 25 years.

Albany church officials are conducting preliminary investigations into allegations of sexual abuse by several other Albany priests. The church has declined to say how many victims have come forward or how many priests remain under investigation.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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