May 20, 2006

Former church rector resigns from priesthood

Press & Sun-Bulletin

By William Moyer
Press & Sun-Bulletin
OWEGO -- A former rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church has resigned from the priesthood following a five-month investigation of sexual allegations against him.

Ralph E. Johnson, 79, voluntarily renounced his ministerial orders amid allegations that he sexually abused a boy in the 1970s while he was rector of St. Paul's, but he has not admitted guilt, said Bishop Gladstone B. Adams, of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.

The attorney for another former rector -- the Rev. David G. Bollinger -- said Johnson's resignation is vindication for his client.

David Gouldin, of Levene, Gouldin & Thompson of Vestal, said Bollinger, years earlier, had alerted Episcopal officials to Johnson's alleged sexual misconduct, but was rebuffed by the regional bishop.

Posted by kshaw at May 20, 2006 07:37 AM