Pastor of St. Brendan is suspended

By Jay Weaver
Miami Herald
June 5, 2002

The Rev. Jose Nickse, longtime pastor of St. Brendan Catholic Church, was suspended Tuesday after a sexual abuse complaint was lodged against him, the Archdiocese of Miami confirmed.

"He has been put on administrative leave due to a sexual abuse allegation," Archdiocese spokesman Mary Ross Agosta said.

Nickse is the eighth priest to be suspended from the archdiocese since 1998 because of a sexual abuse accusation. Four others have also retired since then for the same reason. Agosta said Father Nickse, 55, pastor at St. Brendan at 8725 SW 32nd St. in Southwest Miami-Dade since 1982, was temporarily replaced late Tuesday by the Rev. Charles Peterman.

She said it is the church's policy to suspend "any priest accused of sexual misconduct" until the archdiocese conducts an internal probe into the accusation.

Archbishop John C. Favalora will appoint "a response team," a committee of church lay people to investigate the allegation. Agosta said the panel will determine whether the allegation is credible.

Depending on the outcome, Nickse could be reinstated as pastor or removed from the church. But his removal from the priesthood would require the approval of the Vatican. Agosta declined to comment on the nature of the complaint against Nickse. The pastor could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

In the past month, the archdiocese has suspended two priests -- the Rev. Ricardo Castellanos, longtime pastor of San Isidro in Pompano Beach, and Alvaro Guichard, 62, who headed St. Francis de Sales on Miami Beach -- because of allegations of sexual misconduct.

by a former altar boy at St. Kieran Church in Miami.

Joey Currais, in a lawsuit filed last month, accused Castellanos, 56, of molesting him at St. Kieran Church, Immaculata La Salle High School and Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables when he was between the ages of 14 and 16 from 1970 to 1972. He also accused Guichard, 62, of sexual misconduct at Little Flower Church during the same period.

The suspensions come as the Archdiocese of Miami is providing information of past and current complaints to the state attorney's office.


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