Church Clears Priest in Sex Abuse Case

By Gary Stern
Journal News
June 5, 2008

A Roman Catholic priest who formerly served in Nanuet and Carmel and was removed from ministry in 2006 because of a single accusation of sexual abuse has been cleared by a church court.

The Rev. Christopher Pliauplis will receive a new assignment from the Archdiocese of New York to go into effect July 1, according to today's "Catholic New York," the newspaper of the archdiocese.

Pliauplis was serving at St. Patrick's Church on Staten Island when a 17-year-old boy accused the priest of touching him inappropriately. A review board of the archdiocese recommended to Cardinal Edward Egan that Pliauplis be removed from ministry.

Since then, a church court of the archdiocese, made up of priests, found Pliauplis to be innocent of the allegation. The court also directed that Pliauplis be returned to ministry.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also reviewed the case and upheld the court's finding.

Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the archdiocese, said that a notice of the court's finding was included in "Catholic New York" because the allegation against Pliauplis had been reported in the media.

"We took these steps to restore the priest's good name," he said.

Prior to serving at St. Patrick's on Staten Island, Pliauplis served at St. Anthony's Church in Nanuet from 1997 to about 2003 and then served for about two years at St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel.

In 2006, Pliauplis proclaimed his innocence to the "Staten Island Advance."

"I've been accused of something I did not do," he said.

Reach Gary Stern at gstern@lohud.comor 914-694-3513..


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