WASHINGTONVILLE – Pastor Jeffrey Maurer of St. Mary Parish has been away from the church since August 20. The parishioners had been told that Maurer was on “retreat”.
A letter from Maurer that is expected to be delivered to parishioners on September 14, provides insight into the “retreat” that includes alcoholism and improper advances towards another adult. A source with close ties to the church has indicated that the “other adult” is a Seminarian for the Archdiocese.
“I have been away from the parish these past few weeks on a time of much-needed reflection,” the letter starts but then delivers the admission from Maurer indicating that he is in a residential treatment program for alcohol. “The period of reflection and treatment has also forced me to confront the fact that, when drinking, I made an improper advance toward another adult.”
Maurer said that in his absence, Father Joe Bonnici will be handling administrative duties on a temporary basis.
Monsignor Joseph LaMorte, Vicar General for the Archdiocese of New York has sent an email to priests on September 13, seeking to quiet the “gossip and rumor”. The full text of the email is below.