Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger announced today that he has permanently barred Rev. Jeremiah Nunan, 81, from ministry after the Albany Diocese Review Board found reasonable grounds to believe he had sexually abused a minor in the early 1990s.
Nunan was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese six years ago. He was barred from officiating at sacraments, wearing clerical garb, or presenting himself as a priest. Bishop Scharfenberger accepted the recommendation of the Diocese Review Board following an independent investigation and confirmed Nunan’s permanent removal from ministry. Nunan has denied the allegation.
The Bishop’s actions were taken in accordance with the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Albany Diocese’s zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse of children by clerics. Nunan’s name will be added to the list of known clergy offenders published by Bishop Scharfenberger two years ago on the diocesan website. (www.rcda.org/offices/protecting-children-young-people)
When Nunan was accused of sexual abuse in 2012, the Albany Diocese, consistent with its policy, immediately notified the Greene County District Attorney and announced that Nunan had been placed on administrative leave. An earlier allegation against Nunan, received in 2006 and involving alleged abuse in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was investigated by the Independent Mediation Assistance Program but could not be substantiated.
Nunan was the former pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Cairo and Our Lady of Knock Mission in East Durham. The Diocese’s action is being announced at weekend Masses at the two churches.
Nunan joined the Albany Diocese in 1963 after graduating from a seminary in Ireland. He also served at St. Henry’s in Averill Park, St. Mary’s in Little Falls, Assumption parish in Latham, St. Mary’s in Hudson, and as chaplain for the Columbia Memorial Hospital School for Nursing.
The Albany Diocese has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse of children by clerics. Any priest or deacon against whom an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is found to be credible at any time is permanently removed from ministry.
The Albany Diocese urges anyone who as a child was sexually abused by a Catholic priest or deacon to report the matter to a law enforcement agency or to the Diocese. To report an incident of abuse or to seek help, please contact the Diocese’s Assistance Coordinator, Frederick Jones, at (518) 453-6646 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary DeTurris Poust