March 03, 2006

Parishioners defend priest, don't believe sex abuse allegation

Daily Freeman

By Ariel Zangla, Freeman staff 03/03/2006

CAIRO - Parishioners at Sacred Heart Parish came to the defense of the Rev. Jeremiah Nunan on Thursday, praising the priest's work and saying they did not believe an allegation that he sexually abused a male child 30 years ago.

Nunan, the pastor at Sacred Heart and at Our Lady of Knock Mission in East Durham, took a voluntary leave of absence from public ministry after the allegation was made. A prepared statement from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany on Wednesday said Nunan denies any wrongdoing.

"He's a great person," said Sacred Heart parishioner Patricia Steinhauer. "He's very well-loved."

Steinhauer said some parishioners cried when Nunan announced his leave of absence during Masses last weekend.

"We all can't wait for him to come back," she said.

Posted by kshaw at March 3, 2006 06:20 AM