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Albany Diocese confirms new sex abuse allegations

Jill Konopka
Updated: January 31, 2020 11:03 AM
Created: January 30, 2020 07:52 PM

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany says new allegations of abuse have been made against two priests -- one retired and one deceased.

The cases have been referred to the district attorney are also being investigated by an independent review board.

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“When the DA returns cases to us, we are allowed to begin our own investigation,” diocese spokesperson Mary DeTurris Poust told NewsChannel 13 in a statement.

A decision will soon be made whether this unnamed retired priest, who is not in ministry, will be placed on administrative leave pending outcome of the investigation.

“Once the Diocesan Review Board reaches a final determination, if either priest is found to have reasonable grounds for abuse against a minor, they will be added to our List of Offenders," she added.

This news comes nearly 10 months after Bishop Edward Scharfenberger created an abuse task force to help sex abuse survivors and improve transparency throughout the diocese.

For months NewsChannel 13 has been asking Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany for a sit down interview after the Child Victims Act opened in August. This week that opportunity was granted. The bishop spoke with us very candidly about a variety of topics, including the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal, the Child Victims Act, and his message to victims past and present.

VIDEO: Looking at the future of the Buffalo, Albany dioceses

Bishop Scharfenberger has also been serving as the apostolic administrator to the Buffalo Diocese since early December after the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone.

VIDEO: Message for victims

The bishop created an abuse task force in April 2019 with a goal of creating greater accountability at all levels of the diocese. Scharfenberger says every conversation he has with a sex abuse survivor opens his eyes to the depth of suffering.

WEB EXTRA: Full interview with Bishop Scharfenberger

Watch the full, unedited interview with the biship.


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