The Pastor of two Catholic Parishes in Rome has been placed on leave following the filing of a lawsuit for alleged sexual abuse in the early 80s, according to the Syracuse Diocese.

Fr. Paul Angelicchio of St. John the Baptist and Transfiguration Church announced to his congregations on Sunday that he would be taking administrative leave in the wake of the allegations while an investigation is conducted.

In a statement Fr. Angelicchio says,

There is no truth to this accusation and my conscience is perfectly clear.  I am not guilty of what has been alleged. While I deny this accusation, and will vigorously defend my good name and reputation, I also acknowledge the Diocese’s responsibility to thoroughly investigate any accusation of clerical misconduct.  Consequently, I am voluntarily stepping back from my duties as pastor of St. John’s and Transfiguration until the Diocese has concluded its investigation.    As soon as the Diocese has completed its investigation, you will be informed. I ask you to pray for me as I journey through these next weeks, and you will continue to be in my daily prayer.

According to the Syracuse Diocese, it was previously reported that Fr. Angelicchio was named in another lawsuit for alleged abuse in the late 80s.

Prior to the filing of the lawsuit in August 2019, the Onondaga County DA found this allegation to not be credible as did the canonical investigation completed in December 2016.

The lawsuit has been filed as part of the NYS Child Victims Act. The diocese says, it remains "committed to its cooperation with the District Attorneys Offices and all aspects of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. We continue to pray for and seek to assist all whose lives have been affected by the violation of human dignity."