Priest on leave during inquiry

Allegations are made of sexual misconduct

IRENE JAY LIU Staff Writer
Section: Capital Region,  Page: B1

Date: Sunday, January 20, 2008

TROY - The Rev. Gary Mercure, pastor of Sacred Heart and St. William parishes in Troy, has been granted a paid leave of absence from the ministry during an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a teenage boy in the 1980s, Albany Roman Catholic Diocese officials said.

The allegation stems from Mercure's time as associate pastor of Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish in Queensbury, spokesman Ken Goldfarb said Saturday. The diocese was informed of the allegation on Jan. 11.

Goldfarb said the allegation will be investigated by the diocese's Sexual Misconduct Review Board and could take months to complete.

The review board will then determine whether reasonable grounds exist to believe the allegation and will make a recommendation to Bishop Howard J. Hubbard on what, if any, action should be taken. The diocese will make the decision public, he said.

The diocese has advised representatives of Sacred Heart and Our Lady of the Annunciation and representatives of the other parishes where Mercure has served since his ordination 33 years ago.

The parishes are: Our Lady of the Assumption in Latham, St. Teresa of Avila in Albany, St. Mary's in Glens Falls, and St. Mary's in Clinton Heights.