Diocese of Albany Belatedly Adds Priest to List, SNAP Calls for Independent Investigation into Cover-Up
A New York Catholic diocese appears to have waited until after a priest died to find allegations against him “credible,” despite the fact that reports against the priest spanned the previous three decades. We suspect this delay was purposeful in an attempt to wait out New York’s Child Victims Act and call for the attorney general to investigate.
We find it incredulous that Fr. Alan Jupin, a man with at least five known victims and who was accused of abuse in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s was not considered a “credibly accused” abuser in his lifetime. It was only after the priest died that Catholic officials in the Diocese of Albany chose to admit the abuse was “credible.”
This case shows that the diocesan leaders place their own reputations and treasure above the needs or healing of victims. It is obvious to us that, by never admitting guilt, the diocese was trying to suppress more reports and potential litigation. Given the long history of allegations against Fr. Jupin and the diocese’s refusal to act on them, we are confident there are more survivors of Fr. Jupin. We hope that New York Attorney General Letitia James is looking closely at this situation and will use the power of her office to compel more disclosures by Catholic officials in Albany and determine if any crimes were committed through these cover-ups.
According to our records, Albany now has at least 74 known abusers. If Fr. Jupin was protected during his lifetime in this artificial way, there likely are other accused clergy, brothers, nuns, and lay employees similarly shielded. The Child Victims Act has forced into the open at least 25 new names in less than a year, helping to bring other survivors forward and protecting future children from abuse. Across the state, the names of perpetrators are being made public, many for the first time. The value of this law is clear and there is no question that secular laws are the most effective form of holding the Catholic Church accountable.
We call on the diocesan officials in Albany, including Bishop Edward Scharfenbarger, to begin acting like true shepherds. That starts with naming all known or suspected abusers, living and dead, is followed up by asking all survivors to make reports to secular law enforcement, and continues when Catholic officials proactively name abusers instead of quietly waiting until the last possible moment.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)