8 Removed from Ministry

By Renee K. Gadoua
June 18, 2003

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse has confirmed that it permanently removed eight priests from ministry because of credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

They are Monsignors Francis Furfaro, H. Charles Sewall and John M. Zeder, and the Revs. James Hayes, Donald Hebert, William Lorenz, Chester Misercola and Albert Proud.

Two other priests, the Rev. Thomas Keating and the Rev . James Quinn, have recently been named in lawsuits accusing them of sexual abuse. Quinn took a leave of absence in May from his position recruiting priests for the diocese; Keating remains pastor of Most Holy Rosary Church, Broome County.

Diocesan officials said the Keating and Quinn cases have been referred to the diocesan review board.

Accusations in a lawsuit are not necessarily considered credible allegations, officials said.

The diocese paid two Oswego families a total of $475,000 to settle lawsuits that allege the late Rev. Daniel Casey molested three young boys in the diocese.

Officials have acknowledged public accusations against two other deceased Syracuse priests. A $50 million lawsuit filed in December names the late Rev. Bernard Gartska, the diocese, the bishop and the Vatican.

During a state Senate hearing in Albany May 20, a Baldwinsville man accused the late Rev. Thomas Neary of abusing him.

Officials refused to discuss any allegations against Neary, who died Sept. 17, 2001. In a prepared statement, the diocese said it has offered to pay the man's counseling bills.


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