An allegation of sexual abuse of a minor dating from the 1990s has been made against Father Daniel O’Hare, the pastor of Holy Name of Mary-Assumption parish in Montgomery and the dean of the Orange County Deanery. The allegation was forwarded to the archdiocese from the Orange County District Attorney late last month.
Father O’Hare, who has denied the allegation, has stepped aside while the matter is being investigated. He will not publicly exercise his ministry as a priest while the matter is under review.
Cardinal Dolan, in a March 1 letter mailed to parishioners of Holy Name of Mary-Assumption, said that the archdiocese would follow its “policy and protocols…which include having outside independent investigators, who are former federal agents, look into and assess the allegation, before presenting all the information to our independent Lay Review Board.”
The board will carefully consider the information, including any statements from the person who brought the allegation, and from Father O’Hare. The cardinal told the parishioners that the board would inform him whether it finds the allegations credible and substantiated when its deliberations are completed. He promised to keep parishioners informed.
The letter asked any parishioner who had “any information regarding this or similar allegations” to contact the Orange County District Attorney. The cardinal also offered the services of the archdiocese’s victims services coordinator as well as the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.
Cardinal Dolan closed the letter by asking for prayer for the person who brought the allegation, and for Father O’Hare.