Priest Abuse

March 20, 2011

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Albany Roman Catholic Bishop Howard Hubbard has placed three retired priests on administrative leave and removed another from ministry amid allegations that they sexually abused minors.

Diocese spokesman Kenneth Goldfarb said 76-year-old Rev. Robert Purcell, retired pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Margaretville, was removed from ministry as the result of a recent abuse claim dating to 1957. Purcell has denied it.

Hubbard placed three retired priests on leave amid allegations that they abused a minor in Albany between 1986 and 1991.

They are 73-year-old Rev. Alan Jupin, retired pastor of Our Lady of Fatima in Schenectady, and 77-year-old Rev. Donald Ophals, once pastor at St. Francis de Sales in Troy. They had remained in active ministry. Also placed on leave was 82-year-old Louis Douglas, retired from St. Catherine of Siena in Albany.

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