You are reading

86-Year-old Queens Priest Removed From Ministry Following Credible Claims of Child Sexual Abuse

Rev. Peter Mahoney (Photo: St. Charles Borromeo Church)

Nov. 22, 2021 By Christian Murray

An 86-year-old priest has been removed from the ministry following an investigation conducted by the Brooklyn Diocese that determined that a claim of child molestation against him dating back to the 1970s was credible.

Rev. Peter Mahoney–who had been ministering part-time to the Hispanic community at Saint Anne Catholic Church in Flushing and St. Nicholas of Tolentine in Jamaica, Queens—is no longer permitted to celebrate mass publicly, or exercise any public ministry. He is also not permitted to live in an ecclesiastical residence.

Mahoney was investigated follow a claim that he sexually abused a minor between 1975 and 1978 while serving at St. Martin of Tours in Brooklyn.

The allegation came into the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Reporting Line on Oct. 2, 2020, and was referred for investigation and forwarded to law enforcement on that date.

The allegations, however, date back to the 1970’s – so it is past the statute of limitations for criminal investigation.

The claim, nevertheless, was investigated by the independent Diocesan Review Board (DRB) and found to be credible. Mahoney’s name is also being added to the List of Credibly Accused Priests on the Diocese of Brooklyn website.

The diocese—which oversees church activity in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn—said that its finding should not be interpreted as a judgment of his guilt. However, it is recognition of the possibility that wrongdoing may have taken place, and therefore, out of concern for the safety of the parishioners, it was determined necessary to remove him from ministry.

On April 8, 2021, a lawsuit was filed against Mahoney under the Child Victims Act with an allegation from a different claimant.

The Diocese of Brooklyn said that it has instituted significant programs to prevent sexual abuse and protect children. They include a Zero Tolerance policy that states that any clergy member credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is permanently removed from ministry.

The Diocese said that it also conducts initial and ongoing background checks of all employees and volunteers and provides age-appropriate sexual abuse awareness training for children and adults.

Anyone who has been the victim of clergy sexual abuse is encouraged to report it to law enforcement or to the Toll-Free Reporting Line established by the Diocese at 1-888-634-4499. All calls are forwarded to law enforcement officials.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

QBP Richards, advocates rally to demand Mayor Adams restore funding to City’s libraries

May. 17, 2024 By Gabriele Holtermann

A rally was held at the Queens Public Library at Forest Hills on May 16, during which Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott, union reps and library advocates called on Mayor Eric Adams to reverse the proposed $58.3 million budget cuts to the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), and the Queens Public Library (QBL) for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins on July 1, 2024.

Queens elected officials secure $70 million from New York State Budget for school safety equipment in religious and independent schools

May. 17, 2024 By Anthony Medina

Religious and independent schools throughout the city will soon receive additional funding for school safety equipment, thanks to Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and State Senator Michael Gianaris, who, after extensive advocacy efforts, successfully secured $70 million from the New York State Budget for 2024-25 for Non-Public School Safety Equipment (NPSE) grants.

Decomposing body of adult found outside Rego Park apartment building: NYPD

Police from the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills made a gruesome discovery Sunday after residents of a Rego Park apartment building complained of smelling noxious fumes. Officers found the badly decomposed body of an adult lying in the bushes near scaffolding at 92-40 Queens Blvd. just before 1:00 p.m.

EMS responded to the location and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. There were no visible signs of trauma and no identification on the body, police said, adding that the sex and age of the victim has not yet been determined, according to an NYPD spokesman, who added that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.