'Perv' Cleric, 83, Loses Priestly Powers

By Dan Mangan
New York Post
November 14, 2007

An elderly Queens priest has been stripped of his powers as a cleric after Catholic officials found there was "sufficient evidence" that he sexually abused several boys 25 years ago.

The alleged assaults by the Rev. John Abrams occurred when he was pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Bayside, according to the Brooklyn Diocese, which oversees the parish.

Abrams, who turns 83 next month, served at Sacred Heart from 1979 until 1982, said diocese rep Frank DeRosa. After Abrams' stint at Sacred Heart, he served seven or eight years at St. Patrick's Church in Bayside.

Sometime after 2002 - when American bishops issued their "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" amid the church's burgeoning abuse scandal - Abrams' alleged victims formally complained about him to the diocese.

Criminal charges were never filed against the priest.

Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio recently barred Abrams from presenting himself publicly as a priest, wearing clerical attire, celebrating Mass or administering the sacraments.

A letter from DiMarzio was read during Masses on Nov. 3 and 4 at Sacred Heart.

"I sincerely apologize to the victims for the emotional sufferings endured by sexual abuse by a member of the clergy," he wrote.

The case now will be forwarded to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will decide Abrams' fate, including whether he should be removed from the priesthood.


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