Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Albany Diocese priest defrocked

August 15, 2008 [source]:

ALBANY Officials of the Albany Diocese have defrocked a priest accused of sexually abusing boys in the early 1990s.

Rev. Gary Mercure, 60, was suspended from the ministry in January. The permanent removal which will be announced to parishioners in Troy, Albany, Latham, Clinton Heights, Glens Fals and Queensbury at Masses this weekend is a sign that a diocesan review committe found “reasonable grounds” for sexual abuse, according to Rev. Kenneth Doyle.

The Diocese investigated an incident relating to “misconduct with a minor” at St. Teresa of Avila parish in Albany in the mid-1980s, Doyle said.

Mercure was ordained in 1975 and has also served as a priest at Sacred Heart and St. William parishes in Troy, St Mary’s in Clinton Heights, St. Mary’s in Glens Falls, Our Lady of Annunciation in Queensbury and Our Lady of the Assumption in Latham.

Mark Lyman, the Capital Region director of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, said he is in contact with 13 people who say they were abused by Mercure. After Mercure was suspended in January, Lyman led a press conference where several alleged victims spoke out.

“I’m pleased to hear that he’s been defrocked,” Lyman said. “It’s certainly something that’s long overdue. We’re aware of a significant number of victims of this predator, and I think that defrocking him is probably the first in a series of punitive actions that will be taken against this man.”

Defrocking means that Mercure is prohibited from functioning publicly as a Catholic priest; he may not celebrate Mass or other church sacraments in public and may not wear clerical garb.

The determination is not a criminal finding, though Doyle said that all allegations against Mercure have been turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

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August 16, 2008 - Posted by | Sex Abuse

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