A priest formerly assigned to a Bayside church has been banned from practicing his ordained ministry after the Diocese of Brooklyn found a sexual abuse allegation against him dating back to the 1970s to be “credible.”
Father Charles White, the first mentioned on the list, is now 79. But he will no longer be allowed practice mass in public or live in a parish house after the Diocesan Review Board determined that he likely abused a minor between 1974 and 1979 as well as another victim. White spent much of his career at American Martyrs Church in Bayside.
White’s case was one of four which the diocese reviewed and announced rulings on Aug. 13. Two other priests who previously served in Queens parishes were cleared by the diocese of the sexual abuse charges against them.
Though it is uncertain whether or not the two “credibly” accused priests will be facing criminal charges, as the cases are very old and taking into consideration the state’s statute of limitations, they have been reprimanded by the church and placed on a list of credibly accused clergy.
“Sexual abuse is a heinous, sinful crime and the Diocese of Brooklyn is committed to remaining vigilant against such abuse,” the diocese said in a statement.
In addition to White, Reverend Hugh Byrne, a Brooklyn priest at Holy Ghost Parish, was found to have been credibly identified as an abuser for incidents that took place between 1971 and 1973 as well as another allegation from 1996.
One of the exonerated priests, Reverend Joseph Nolan, now 97, has been cleared by the diocese in a claim that he abused a minor between 1976 and 1979 while serving at Our Lady of Snows Catholic Church in Glen Oaks.
Nolan was ordained in 1947. A victim came forward through an attorney in 2017, but the case was dropped and deemed “not credible.”
Finally, Father William With, who formerly served at Our Lady of Cenacle Roman Catholic Church in Richmond Hill, also was cleared by the diocese of an accusation of misconduct during his ministry at the parish sometime between 1972 and 1975. The diocese determined there was insufficient evidence to suggest that With was guilty.
With is currently a pastor at Resurrection Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn.
According to the diocese, all allegations were also reported to law enforcement before the review board made its determinations. The board is made up of former law enforcement officers, lawyers with pertinent experience, health and mental health professionals.