Popular priest from the Hudson Valley accused of sex abuse
A popular priest from the Hudson Valley is the latest to be accused of sexual abuse.
Monsignor Edward Weber, who preached at Saint Francis of Assisi in West Nyack, is facing charges for allegedly raping a boy at least 150 times while at a parish in Staten Island in the 1970s and 1980s.
Weber was the pastor in West Nyack between 1994 and 2012. Part of the West Nyack church is even named in his honor – an educational center for kids.
Terri McCullagh says she's known Monsignor Weber for decades. She says he baptized all her three children and remains a close friend.
“I've known him for so long and I just can't see him doing this. He is the most kind, gentle person you could ever meet,” she says.
According to the lawsuit, the monsignor sodomized, fondled and had oral sex with the boy while he was between the ages of 11 and 16. The suits claims that the church knew Weber was a sexual predator the whole time.
McCullagh says she's not alone in believing Weber is innocent.
“Anyone I've spoken to, nobody believes it. Nobody believes this could be true,” she says.
According to the archdiocese, Monsignor Weber has been placed on administrative leave while outside investigators look into the allegations against him. In the meantime, the archdiocese says it will presume Weber is innocent.
Church officials wouldn't speak with News 12 and referred questions to the Archdiocese of New York.