An advocate for victims of clergy sexual abuse is demanding that the Diocese of Rochester release more information about an Owego priest who has been removed from active ministry.
Bishop Salvatore Matano announced yesterday that Father Thomas Valenti is no longer allowed to present himself publicly as a priest.
Valenti served as parochial administrator at Saint Patrick’s Church in Owego from 2014 until last June when an accusation of sexual misconduct was made against him.
The Diocese says a subsequent investigation found that Valenti had engaged in objectionable and inappropriate behaviors with minors in the 1970’s.
Valenti had served in a number of parishes in the Rochester area and at Ithaca College from 1976 to 1997.
Robert Hoatson, a former priest and victim of clergy sexual abuse while he was in seminary, says the public should know more about why Valenti was then transferred to the New York City area. “Was Father Valenti sent to the New York Archdiocese because of allegations? So, we’re here Bishop Matano to ask you to take the key to the secret files, open them up and make them available to the good people of the Diocese of Rochester and the general public. Because unless you do that, we will never know the truth about Father Valenti and about other priests.”
The Diocese says Father Valenti adamantly denies the accusations against him and that he plans to appeal the Bishop’s decision to Rome.