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Priest in sex scandal to say farewell mass June 8
« on: June 05, 2008, 05:30:49 AM »
A popular parish priest accused of sexual misconduct won’t be returning to his parish, but would be given a chance to say his final mass before departing for the Philippines. Reports say Rev. Edgardo Abano, 52, of St. Frances Cabrini Church in Piscataway is leaving the church, but would celebrate mass for the last time on June 8.

The website www.saveourpastor.org states that Abano’s 12 noon farewell mass will be held at the St. Frances Cabrini school gym followed by a farewell reception in the cafeteria. The website was created by his supporters in a bid to clear the pastor’s name. Abano, well loved in his parish, was arrested in October of 2007 on charges of sexual misconduct. A Filipino employee of the Metuchen diocese Glenn Obrero filed a complaint with his superiors in 2005 that Abano had repeatedly touched his chest and buttocks in the church rectory. Obrero, 26, was then a seminarian at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in New Jersey. Abano has denied the allegations. In October 2007, Abano was picked up by agents of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/ Child Abuse Unit and the Piscataway Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit.

Since his arrest, Abano – who was ordained in 1985 in the U.S. -- has taken a leave of absence. He is free on $1,500 bail. St. Frances Cabrini is the fifth New Jersey parish he has served; he has been a priest there since 1992.   A jury that heard the testimonies of both Abano and Obrero in February this year returned a “no bill” verdict, which means they found no sufficient evidence for the prosecutor to file a case. This was based largely on revelations that the translation of a phone conversation between Abano and Obrero had some inconsistencies.

On the strength of this decision, Abano’s supporters within the parish as well as the Filipino American community have asked the diocese for his reinstatement. They have written letters to Bishop Paul Gregory Bootkoski of the Metuchen diocese expressing the hope that with the jury decision, Abano would be resuming his obligations as a parish priest.

Instead, they were surprised to learn that Abano won’t be returning to the parish and would be leaving the U.S. shortly after the June 8 mass.
“I would like everyone to know that Fr. Ed Abano is a man of great integrity and a wonderful pastor. He is a true servant of the Lord, a friend, a person who goes beyond the limit to help those in need. I for one will certainly rally in his defense and fight to the limit to keep him at SFC where he belongs to shepherd his flock. He has done nothing to warrant these allegations. We must all remember to keep ourselves focused on the fact that these are just allegations and must be proven false. He has been unjustly removed and our Bishop should stand behind him and give Fr. Ed his support and reinstate him back to his parish,” says one of the messages of support in the website.(PhilNews.com)

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Re: Priest in sex scandal to say farewell mass June 8
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2008, 05:43:24 AM »
Kinsa kaha ning decision that he leaves his parish.  If he was proven not guilty or no sufficient proof to charge him, he should then be exonerated.  But the question is why when, in most cases like this one, trial by publicity or nadalahig sa ubang cases of misconduct by the priests.  Well, I wish Father the best of luck and also the seminarian.  One of them is not telling the truth and whoever is not telling the truth shall face the ultimate judge.
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