Harlem Pastor Steps down in Sex Scanda

By Gina K. Callaghan

August 3, 2008

Wallace Harris Accused of Abusing a Minor -- A Harlem pastor who played a key role in the pope's visit to New York was forced to step down from his position after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor emerged Sunday.

Monsignor Wallace Harris, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish on West 141st Street also took part in Gov. David Paterson's swearing-in.

Harris has been pastor of the Roman Catholic parish since 1989.

The sexual abuse matter was first investigated by the Archdiocese of New York, then referred to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, which received a second allegation against Harris.

Harris, 61, was the event coordinator for Pope Benedict XVI's Mass at Yankee Stadium earlier this year.

Harris has denied the allegations, which concern actions that allegedly happened 20 years ago.

He will not be allowed to function as a priest until the Archdiocese review board has studied the matter and made its recommendations.

Harris was ordained in 1972.


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