A retired Albany-area priest has been placed on administrative leave following allegations of sexual abuse of a minor in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Rev. Daniel Maher, 81, has been placed on leave, Albany Roman Catholic Diocese Bishop Edward Scharfenberger said on Saturday via a press release.
The decision, according to the release, comes after a preliminary investigation by the Diocesan Review Board, which recommended administrative leave pending the completion of the full investigation. While on leave, Maher is barred from officiating at sacraments, wearing clerical garb or presenting himself as a priest.
Maher, who retired from active ministry in 2008, has denied the allegations.
He served as pastor of Holy Cross (now All Saints), Albany, from 1994 to 2008, pastor of Sacred Heart (now Immaculate Heart of Mary), Watervliet, from 1973 to 1994, associate pastor of St. Francis de Sales, West Albany (now Christ Our Light, Loudonville), from 1966 to 1973, associate pastor of St. Mary’s, Clinton Heights, from 1965 to 1966, and associate pastor of St. Teresa of Avila (now Mater Christi), Albany, from 1962 to 1965.
Born in Ireland, Maher was ordained there in 1962 and joined the Diocese of Albany a few months later.
In 2003 and 2005, allegations of sexual abuse of a minor were filed against Maher, according to the release. The Diocesan Review Board found “no reasonable grounds” in both cases and Maher remained a priest in his post.
In April 2018, a new allegation was received, according to the release. Ultimately, in mid-January, the Diocesan Review Board recommended the leave for Maher after conducting an investigation in December of 2019.