Per the Daily Star, 84-year-old Gregory Weider, a former priest, is facing charges of sexual abuse and has been remove from his sacramental duties at Sacred Heart Catholic Church located at 543 Main St, Margaretville, NY 12455. Additionally, Weider has been removed from his position at St. Anne’s, located at 375 Main St, Andes, NY 13731.
Weilder retired as a priest in 2010 but has since served the two congregations in Delaware County, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and St. Anne’s, as a sacramental minister. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has reported that Weider has been placed on administrative leave, as of August 14, 2021, while the investigation takes place.
Weider was coordined in 1963 and has served at the following:
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville is an experienced sexual abuse attorney licensed in New York. He has represented victims of sexual abuse along with their families in civil lawsuits for years. During an interview, Laurence shared his insight regarding the rights of victims sexually assaulted by a clergy member.
Sometimes sexual predators can gain employment within churches allowing them to exploit their victims by using their positions of trust and power. This exploitation has been demonstrated across all religious organizations, and numerous religious leaders have been charged with the sexual assault of congregation members. However, churches have a legal obligation to utilize an adequate level of security to prevent predators from gaining roles within the clergy. Such measures should include proper background checks and a sound reporting system in the event that an incident takes place. Security cameras within the church property are also a useful security measure. If the church lacks in maintaining a level of security, they could be found liable in a civil lawsuit.
In some sexual assault cases, the abuse only happened because of neglect within the church's administration. An example of negligence is if clergy members had sexual misconduct complaints filed against them and the administration ignored the accusations rather than filing a report or investigating. In this case, the religious organization is negligent, and the victims and their families may have sufficient grounds for a lawsuit.