Four more men accuse priest of sexual abuse

Full story: Post Star News

Four more men came forward Monday to accuse a Catholic priest who formerly was assigned to churches in Queensbury and Glens Falls of child sexual abuse.
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Lynn

Waltham, MA

#1 Jan 29, 2008
Do not let ignorance silence these young men anymore.
Several generations of my family have proudly grown up Catholic, faithfully attending church. Father Gary Mercure performed many religious ceremonies over the years for family occasions. We attended his weekly mass and church school, and he often had dinner with my family after he attended one of our many school sporting events. At St. Mary's he was there as we grew up, smiled in our cherished celebration photos and heard our confessions. Like many, we considered Father Gary a member of our family.
This recent news of allegations burned our family phone lines, but never in my God fearing life did I imagine how hard it would hit home: My 18 year old nephew who is away at college broke down with his own confession: The reason he didn't want to attend church, family functions, weddings, or dinners? The reason he went kicking screaming and cursing to his regular "boys therapy" with Father Gary? It wasn't because he was socially introverted or "Difficult to say the least." He confided it was at these very gatherings that he was being targeted and touched by our worshipped Father Gary. Not once,
but repeatedly over the years. This young man is a time zone away at college in tears telling my devastated sister: Mom, he is the reason I am the way I am but he told me you would never believe me if I told you. Like these other victims, who did he have to turn to? Through the victims the true depth of his deceit has emerged. Never again 'Father' in my eyes, where is Gary to answer these questions we as his congregation need answered? My heartbroken family feels betrayed, lied to, and we as a family have no outlet of support. Bishop Hubbard, you need to speak out. Where is the justice for these victims?

Judged:

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Alicia Carey

Bloomville, NY

#2 Feb 8, 2008
I am a parishoner of Sacred Heart-St. Williams in Troy NY, yes, Father Gary Mercure is OUR pastor. For all of you "people" accusing him of these accqusations, God forgive you. Why did you wait SO long to come out? Fr. Gary has done so much for so many helping the poor, reaching out to the less fortunate, and I could go on and on. With all the good he has done not in the church; but for my family and the parishoners of our churches. I know he will be cleared of these "accquastions". I am sure there will be "doubters", again God forgive them too. I will always remember how church was a pleasant experience upon entering when Fr. Gary had mass, however, due to people who are casting stones, our masses are not and will never be the same do to one thing- the unbelievable "stories" you have made up, or relatives telling you these heartless lies. Again GOD FORGIVE YOU!
Victor

West Palm Beach, FL

#3 Feb 8, 2008
Alicia Carey wrote:
I am a parishoner of Sacred Heart-St. Williams in Troy NY, yes, Father Gary Mercure is OUR pastor. For all of you "people" accusing him of these accqusations, God forgive you. Why did you wait SO long to come out? Fr. Gary has done so much for so many helping the poor, reaching out to the less fortunate, and I could go on and on. With all the good he has done not in the church; but for my family and the parishoners of our churches. I know he will be cleared of these "accquastions". I am sure there will be "doubters", again God forgive them too. I will always remember how church was a pleasant experience upon entering when Fr. Gary had mass, however, due to people who are casting stones, our masses are not and will never be the same do to one thing- the unbelievable "stories" you have made up, or relatives telling you these heartless lies. Again GOD FORGIVE YOU!
With all due respect to your feelings for Fr Mercure, I have provided a link to the Bishop's Accountability web site. Go there and select M for the last name, granted you will have to go through many,many names and hsitories before you reach Gary Mercure's, but trust me, he's there. Sorry, but the ones you should be praying for are the abused children, but perhaps you do not have children of your own, so you wouldn't know how a parent might feel, or a child for that matter.
http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ , if you have any further interest, you can also google SNAP, a site for abuse survivors, and educate yourself.
Kelly

Brighton, MA

#4 Feb 13, 2008
I was a parishoner of Father Gary's in the 1980's in Queensbury and was at 15 years of age, brought into Father Gary's "office" for a face to face confession that he deemed necessary prior to my confirmation. In this face to face confession he proceeded to ask me detailed question after question about my sexual activity. I was a 15 year old girl and at that point NOT sexually active. He accused me of being an "outsider", my parents not being "involved in the community" and noted that I might be a bit of a "social problem". I was taken quite by surprise.

As a criminologist and adult, I can look back at this incident and recognize that he was attempting to alienate, intimidate and use his position of authority to ask only sexually related questions during my "confession". Further, it was well discussed among my peers that in his face to face confessions with the boys in my class, he was asking many if they had ever masturbated and would press the issue. Appropriate? I think not.

I was not touched, though at the time I did tell my parents that Father Gary's questioning made me uncomfortable. Given Father Gary's position and his close friendships with several families, that is as far as my complaint went.

Before people go accusing these men of lying, consider the shame, humiliation and fear of retaliation they have battled for 25 years. I have no doubt whatsoever that the events occurred based upon my experience. Father Gary is not unfairly accused and these men are not the criminals in this situation. I was not surprised to hear of this news..
NYSP Queensbury

Albany, NY

#5 Feb 15, 2008
Lynn,
Please contact the New York State Police in Queensbury, NY so we can follow up on this matter.
SND

Somers, CT

#6 Feb 15, 2008
The sad thing is this priest may still get reinstated as a priest and able to molest further children because only one of the eleven people that have come out against him actually registered with the Diocese against the priest. People who are victims of priest molestation need to understand that you need to register both with the local authorities, but also with the religious faction that will be considering the priest's case. Put these sick priests out of business!
cuda

United States

#7 Feb 19, 2008
Kelly wrote:
I was a parishoner of Father Gary's in the 1980's in Queensbury and was at 15 years of age, brought into Father Gary's "office" for a face to face confession that he deemed necessary prior to my confirmation. In this face to face confession he proceeded to ask me detailed question after question about my sexual activity. I was a 15 year old girl and at that point NOT sexually active. He accused me of being an "outsider", my parents not being "involved in the community" and noted that I might be a bit of a "social problem". I was taken quite by surprise.
As a criminologist and adult, I can look back at this incident and recognize that he was attempting to alienate, intimidate and use his position of authority to ask only sexually related questions during my "confession". Further, it was well discussed among my peers that in his face to face confessions with the boys in my class, he was asking many if they had ever masturbated and would press the issue. Appropriate? I think not.
I was not touched, though at the time I did tell my parents that Father Gary's questioning made me uncomfortable. Given Father Gary's position and his close friendships with several families, that is as far as my complaint went.
Before people go accusing these men of lying, consider the shame, humiliation and fear of retaliation they have battled for 25 years. I have no doubt whatsoever that the events occurred based upon my experience. Father Gary is not unfairly accused and these men are not the criminals in this situation. I was not surprised to hear of this news..
kelly most abuse i saw was from the nuns no sexual abuse, lots of beatings,racsm humiliation
tactics. the thoughts have been with me all my life. i took a paddle away from the nun ,she called my dad and he came to school dragged me home and gave me the beating i'll always remember.
see i disrespected the sisters of mercy. my dad was a devout catholic that made me go to church six days a week. so it haunts me and i can't even immagine how you must feel. i think god is good .i thimk god wants to have a personnelrelationship wiyhout the paganistic rituals of catholicism take care of your self the posting above me has a good idea
Esther

Pittsfield, MA

#8 Feb 20, 2008
My precious son was one of Mr. Mercure's Queensbury alter boys. I thought that I was being a good mother and with reassurance of his grandmother, I was helping him to grow into a fine young man. He was not much more than a baby, trying to tell me in his own way of this sexual abuse. Bedwetting started long after potty training, he complained of his bottom bothering him, so I took him to his pediatrician who said his bladder was small and he would outgrow the wetting, and he was checked for pin worms, all o.k. the doc said. My son's grades fell and he had to repeat a grade, he started fighting in school and misbehaving at home. Later on he dropped out of college, had a failed marriage, began mistrusting everyone in his life, and have periods of rage that we just could not understand. Well now we do. It has taken years of shame and disliking himself to finally come forward and tell what Gary Mercure had done to him. He does not want any more children hurt as he was. Alicia Carey, God forgive you for your ignorance and lack of compassion. You have no idea how bad it hurts to feel you let your child down in such a way.
Victor

West Palm Beach, FL

#9 Feb 20, 2008
Esther wrote:
My precious son was one of Mr. Mercure's Queensbury alter boys. I thought that I was being a good mother and with reassurance of his grandmother, I was helping him to grow into a fine young man. He was not much more than a baby, trying to tell me in his own way of this sexual abuse. Bedwetting started long after potty training, he complained of his bottom bothering him, so I took him to his pediatrician who said his bladder was small and he would outgrow the wetting, and he was checked for pin worms, all o.k. the doc said. My son's grades fell and he had to repeat a grade, he started fighting in school and misbehaving at home. Later on he dropped out of college, had a failed marriage, began mistrusting everyone in his life, and have periods of rage that we just could not understand. Well now we do. It has taken years of shame and disliking himself to finally come forward and tell what Gary Mercure had done to him. He does not want any more children hurt as he was. Alicia Carey, God forgive you for your ignorance and lack of compassion. You have no idea how bad it hurts to feel you let your child down in such a way.
Hello Esther,

I am so sorry about what happened to your son. I know that the hurt cuts deeply but you can't blame yourself. You, like most other parents of victims, could not have imagined this happening. We were, after all, trusting those who were supposed to be beyond reproach, in that respect. I have for a long time now, been very vocal against this behavior and have fought long and hard against it. Those in denial are either foolish or simply cannot bring themselves to accept the ugly truth, for reasons of their own and their behavior seems cruel. I have responded to Alicia Carey and have supplied her with a web address so she can see for herself. I would suggest that you do the same with any others who are of this same mindset.

I hope that God will ease your pain as time passes and possibly you can share your experience with SNAP, which is an organization assisting victims and victim's families, and possibly help others. SNAP can be googled.
Hector

United States

#10 Feb 20, 2008
The restraint shown by parents of victims is quite amazing. I would have guessed that somewhere along the road, someone would have placed a "round", not being concerned about their own future, but as they say, closure to something so horrible.

The time lapse of disclosure certainly favored the criminals, otherwise I would think southern justice would have prevailed in many instances.
osgood

United States

#11 Feb 20, 2008
Victor wrote:
<quoted text>
Hello Esther,
I am so sorry about what happened to your son. I know that the hurt cuts deeply but you can't blame yourself. You, like most other parents of victims, could not have imagined this happening. We were, after all, trusting those who were supposed to be beyond reproach, in that respect. I have for a long time now, been very vocal against this behavior and have fought long and hard against it. Those in denial are either foolish or simply cannot bring themselves to accept the ugly truth, for reasons of their own and their behavior seems cruel. I have responded to Alicia Carey and have supplied her with a web address so she can see for herself. I would suggest that you do the same with any others who are of this same mindset.
I hope that God will ease your pain as time passes and possibly you can share your experience with SNAP, which is an organization assisting victims and victim's families, and possibly help others. SNAP can be googled.
hi victor, i went to catholic school 40 years ago.
things were very different then,pedophilia?you bet
racism?oooh yes, physical beating?lots of these.
humiliation tactics oh yeh
recently i've denied christ, not god ,but christ. i feel god wants to talk with us individualy.no middlemen.from the lowest of priests to the nazi pope. they hurt alot of people.then i see that we have to have all these dominations. so any way the god that fishes with me will have to do god bless
Esther

Pittsfield, MA

#12 Feb 21, 2008
Dearest victor, thank you for your very kind and understanding words. We are involved with SNAP, they are a group of brave souls and are helping our son. They even call to check on me, but I don't think there will ever be any help for this mother. We need to change the laws involving the statute of limitations regarding sex abuse. My husband is trying to petition for this and get our politicians moving. It will take a long time to do this but at least you feel like you are doing something. Our most precious gifts from God are our children and granchildren, we have to protect them. If each person who reads these letters starts their own petition maybe a miracle will happen. All I ever wanted was to be the best mom ever, and have my children grow up happy, healthy, and productive adults, so much for that. The only help I can give to other moms is to tell you, talk, talk, talk to your kids. If they are carrying something similar to my son's experiences, try to get them to talk about it. Get this man and his pals behind bars where they belong.
Victor

West Palm Beach, FL

#13 Feb 21, 2008
osgood wrote:
<quoted text>
hi victor, i went to catholic school 40 years ago.
things were very different then,pedophilia?you bet
racism?oooh yes, physical beating?lots of these.
humiliation tactics oh yeh
recently i've denied christ, not god ,but christ. i feel god wants to talk with us individualy.no middlemen.from the lowest of priests to the nazi pope. they hurt alot of people.then i see that we have to have all these dominations. so any way the god that fishes with me will have to do god bless
Osgood,

As you may read from my posts, I am at odds with the vatican hierarchy. I too was Catholic schooled, so the stand I take was not done lightly. I realize however, that none of these actions would be condoned by Jesus. He would be outraged by them. Man has a way of often messing things up. I hope that you think more on Jesus because He is the Way and He can give you comfort.

God bless you in your struggles.I hope you find peace and reconsider Jesus in your life.
osgood

United States

#14 Feb 21, 2008
well vic,
i appreciate yor concern after the things i witnessed
i'd be pretty hard to convince i congratulate you as what you're doing is brave. good luck bud.
jack

Minneapolis, MN

#15 Feb 21, 2008
guilty,,,i feel bad for all the kids, wish the church quit hiding this, ....
Kim

Buffalo, NY

#16 Feb 22, 2008
I think that the Church has to take some responsability. In the catholic church priests can not get married or have children and they are to stay away from sex. What kind of life is that for a normal human being? In other church's, you are allowed to get married and have a family. Granted NO ONE should ever do or say anything that will harm a child and he should be held accountable for his actions but, on the other hand, the life style they have to live contributes to such behavior. Let these guys get married and have a family. It isn't right to deny them and due to having to supress their normal feelings, it is then manifested into devient behavior.

Since: Jul 07

Streetsboro, Ohio

#17 Feb 23, 2008
Kim wrote:
I think that the Church has to take some responsability. In the catholic church priests can not get married or have children and they are to stay away from sex. What kind of life is that for a normal human being? In other church's, you are allowed to get married and have a family. Granted NO ONE should ever do or say anything that will harm a child and he should be held accountable for his actions but, on the other hand, the life style they have to live contributes to such behavior. Let these guys get married and have a family. It isn't right to deny them and due to having to supress their normal feelings, it is then manifested into devient behavior.
As much as I believe letting priests marry could be a good thing it is wrong to pin the sexual abuse scandal on the celibacy issue alone. Just as there are definately men who have chosen to hide their deviancy wearing a Roman collar there are men who hide it with wedding rings. As a person who works with youth the diocese I work in made me take a "Virtus" training class so to be aware of sexual abusers in our communities. I'm now more aware and it's scary out there.
PAD

Rockford, IL

#18 Feb 23, 2008
Pax et Bonum wrote:
<quoted text>
As much as I believe letting priests marry could be a good thing it is wrong to pin the sexual abuse scandal on the celibacy issue alone. Just as there are definately men who have chosen to hide their deviancy wearing a Roman collar there are men who hide it with wedding rings. As a person who works with youth the diocese I work in made me take a "Virtus" training class so to be aware of sexual abusers in our communities. I'm now more aware and it's scary out there.
Good and respectful response Pax, you are realistic! I went through molestation in a Catholic orphanage, I was 7, but molested at 5 and 4, and only God knows how much. I remember things and they have even haunted me at 59 yers of age.Of course I have no issues about it now, but I was a disfunctional teen at worse.I found out at 19 that I could forgive with the grace of God. But I was still troubled about sexuality, and it affected me more than I could even say on this post.Yes a priest was involved, I do not know his name, and those days are long gone into antiquity as it were. I forgve him in my soul, and feft spiritual release.When I read all the posts in this thread memories cloud my mind, but I know that Jesus is my Portion, and He is mighty to Save. It is so terrible for the victims, people do not know the years of misery, and inadequacy one experiences.Many respond differently as some become homosexual, some become homophobic to extreme, soem live in isolation. But if people really turn to Jesus, He will heal the deepest wounds and make Himself ever real and sufficient.The last ONE we should turn against, is probably the First One we reject in such matters. God in His Son Jesus Christ. Priests,Ministers,teachers who do these acts of criminal abuse to children are in no way bringing glory to our Lord, but the most profound SHAME!For He is Sinless, those men need so much to REPENT and turn to their Creator.The whole issue is so troublesome to our souls, but God is able to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, read 1John 1:9._________Sin defiles us all, no matter whether we sin or are targeted for sin. The defilement is in a spiritual sense, and only God can cleanse us spiritually from the tentacles of Sin.We are all sinners, and there are non-righteous, only Jesus is Sinless.
Esther

Pittsfield, MA

#19 Feb 23, 2008
Amen, Dear PAD, BUT WHY CAN'T THESE LAWS BE CHANGED! Does no one understand that these people should be in prison? We can talk and try to help each other but these predators are still out there, hurting our children! Write your legislators to change the sexual abuse laws to NO limitations. Bless You All, Hurting Mom
John Watkins

Pittsfield, MA

#20 Feb 23, 2008
Lynn wrote:
Do not let ignorance silence these young men anymore.
Several generations of my family have proudly grown up Catholic, faithfully attending church. Father Gary Mercure performed many religious ceremonies over the years for family occasions. We attended his weekly mass and church school, and he often had dinner with my family after he attended one of our many school sporting events. At St. Mary's he was there as we grew up, smiled in our cherished celebration photos and heard our confessions. Like many, we considered Father Gary a member of our family.
This recent news of allegations burned our family phone lines, but never in my God fearing life did I imagine how hard it would hit home: My 18 year old nephew who is away at college broke down with his own confession: The reason he didn't want to attend church, family functions, weddings, or dinners? The reason he went kicking screaming and cursing to his regular "boys therapy" with Father Gary? It wasn't because he was socially introverted or "Difficult to say the least." He confided it was at these very gatherings that he was being targeted and touched by our worshipped Father Gary. Not once,
but repeatedly over the years. This young man is a time zone away at college in tears telling my devastated sister: Mom, he is the reason I am the way I am but he told me you would never believe me if I told you. Like these other victims, who did he have to turn to? Through the victims the true depth of his deceit has emerged. Never again 'Father' in my eyes, where is Gary to answer these questions we as his congregation need answered? My heartbroken family feels betrayed, lied to, and we as a family have no outlet of support. Bishop Hubbard, you need to speak out. Where is the justice for these victims?
I am a victim of Father Gary's. I spent 3 years having sex with him in exchange for money, vacations and gifts. I was older than most victims and forced to shave my genitals to appear younger. He's a sick man and sure he helps the poor...out of the churches money.

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