New York deacon accused of sex abuse, removed from parish

Incredibly, this is the third time this parish has faced this ordeal in the last 11 years.

Pray for all concerned, especially the people in this poor parish.


A deacon in the Holy Name of Mary parish in Croton-on-Hudson has been removed from the church in the wake of allegations that, many years ago, he abused minors.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, wrote a letter to the parishioners of Holy Name of Mary informing them that Deacon Albert Mazza, a permanent deacon serving in their parish, had been removed frohm ministry.

Father Edward Weber, the director of priest personnel for the Archdiocese of New York, read the letter from the Cardinal at Masses on Sunday.

Mazza had served as a permanent deacon since 1996. In 2002, Rev. Kenneth Jesselli was removed from Holy Name of Mary and the priesthood after being accused of sexually abusing children. He had just replaced Rev. Gennaro  Gentile, known as Father Jerry, who was also removed and defrocked for the same reason.

In his letter, the Cardinal noted that the archdiocese had been notified of the allegations by the Westchester District Attorney’s office and had immediately put Mazza on administrative leave while the matter was investigated. Last week, the archdiocesan review board recommended that Mazza be permanently removed from ministry, a recommendation that the Cardinal accepted.

The Cardinal told the parishioners of Holy Name of Mary that the archdiocese wanted to be upfront and transparent with the people, even about bad news.

“As you know, the Church learned a painful lesson in not communicating the abuse of minors to the faithful as soon as it became aware of it,” the Cardinal wrote. “Now, the Church leads the way with action and transparency, with this sad situation here at this parish serving as an example.”

Read the rest.

For those who might be wondering, the deacon in question is evidently married. Remember his wife and family in your prayers. I can’t begin to imagine what they are going through.