Dutchess priest suspended in decades-old sexual abuse allegation

Poughkeepsie Journal

[with copy of a letter from the Vicar for Clergy]

Nina Schutzman, Poughkeepsie Journal January 28, 2015

A longtime Dutchess County priest has been suspended by the Archdiocese of New York because of 30-year-old sexual abuse allegations recently brought to authorities, confirmed Joseph Zwilling, the Archdiocese director of communications. But the Rev. Peter Kihm denies the accusations.

Kihm was removed as priest at the Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck on Jan. 19, Zwilling said, saying the suspension falls under archdiocese policy after such accusations.

Kihm, who could not be reached for comment, denied the allegations, according to a statement from the archdiocese Rev. Gerald Walsh.

Notice was sent to all of the parishes with which “Kihm was associated,” including Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie, where Kihm served on the faculty from 1987 to 1992, Zwilling said.

“The archdiocese has received a credible allegation that, approximately 30 years ago, Father Peter Kihm committed acts of sexual abuse against a minor,” according to Walsh’s statement, which Walsh sent to Lourdes.

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