A priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has been removed from ministry after it was determined he sexually abused a minor in the mid-1980s, officials said.
Gary Mercure has been on administrative leave since January when the diocese received a complaint alleging Mercure had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor in the mid-1980s at St. Teresa of Avila parish in Albany.
Other allegations were made about Mercure, and diocese officials said they turned information over to police and the allegations are being investigated.
Bishop Howard J. Hubbard removed Mercure from ministry based on recommendations from the diocesan sexual misconduct review board.
The diocese issued a statement late Friday afternoon that Mercure, 60, was “permanently removed from ministry.”
He cannot function as a priest, wear clerical garb, celebrate Mass or perform other sacraments in public.
Mercure’s removal from ministry is being announced at weekend Masses in parishes where he served. They include Sacred Heart and St. William parishes in Troy; St. Mary’s in Clinton Heights; St. Mary’s in Glens Falls; Our Lady of Assumption in Queensbury; St. Teresa of Avila in Albany and Our Lady of Assumption in Latham.
The Albany diocese said it has removed 22 priests from ministry since 1950 after determining they had sexually abused minors.