Prominent Harlem Pastor Resigns Amid Sexual Abuse Allegations

September 17, 2010

[with video]

A prominent Harlem pastor has resigned after being accused of sexually abusing children in the 1980s.

Monsignor Wallace Harris was the highest-ranking black cleric in the Archdiocese of New York, and was once considered for appointment to bishop. He had been a pastor at the Church of St. Charles Borromeo since 1989.

In 2008, Harris helped arrange Pope Benedict XVI's Mass at Yankee Stadium, and gave the invocation at Governor David Paterson's swearing-in.

The archdiocese suspended Harris that year.

Prosecutors say 10 people lodged complaints against him, but statutes of limitations preclude any criminal charges being filed.

The archdiocese says it will be up to the Vatican's internal affairs office to decide whether Harris will be formally removed from the priesthood.


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