Cliffside Park pastor resigns over allegation of abuse from before he was ordained


June 30, 2020

By Deena Yellin and Abbott Koloff

The pastor at the Church of the Epiphany in Cliffside Park has voluntarily stepped down after the Archdiocese of Newark received a report that he allegedly abused a minor before he became a priest almost 20 years ago, church officials said Monday.

The Rev. Bruce Harger, 66, announced his resignation from the parish this past weekend.

“The alleged abuse occurred before Fr. Harger was associated with the Archdiocese of Newark, and before he was ordained,” Maria Margiotta, an archdiocese spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement.

She did not provide further information about the allegations. Harger, who was ordained in 2001, started working at the Church of the Epiphany as an administrator in 2018 and was installed as a pastor in 2019. The priest has denied any wrongdoing, according to thearchdiocese.

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