Croton-on-Hudson deacon removed over abuse allegations

September 30, 2013 3:29:49 PM PDT
The Archbishop of New York has permanently removed from ministry the deacon of a Westchester parish due to sexual abuse allegations.

In a letter read to parishioners Sunday at the Holy Name of Mary Parish in Croton-on-Hudson, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, New York's Archbishop, announced he had removed long-time permanent Deacon Albert Mazza from ministry.

The move followed an investigation that substantiated decades old but credible allegations that Mazza sexually abused minors, according to Dolan. Mazza has served as permanent deacon since 1996.

Dolan said the Westchester County district attorney's office referred the claims to the Archdiocese several months ago but criminal charges were precluded by state law. A spokesman for the district attorney's office said the statute of limitations had run out.

Mazza was on administrative duty since the allegations surfaced.

To make matters even worse, parishioners at the church have suffered the scourge of sexual abuse not once, but twice before. More than a decade ago, the Archdiocese removed and dismissed from the priesthood two Holy Name pastors for the very same reason.