Msgr. John N. Paddack, pastor of Notre Dame parish in Manhattan and dean of the West Manhattan deanery, wrote in a July 2 letter to parishioners that he is stepping aside as pastor and will not publicly exercise any priestly ministry while allegations against him of inappropriate conduct with minors years ago are reviewed.
He has denied the allegations, and promised to cooperate with the archdiocese in its investigation, according to the letter. Msgr. Paddack also said he consulted with Cardinal Dolan, and decided to step away “for the good of you parishioners, the parish, and the Church.”
Msgr. Paddack has served as pastor of Notre Dame since 2012, and before that was administrator there for nearly a year. He has been dean of West Manhattan since 2015.
Msgr. Paddack reiterated to his parishioners in his letter what he said he had discussed with them over the last several months, that about seven years ago, allegations were brought against him of inappropriate conduct with minors that stemmed from his time as an educator. He said he cooperated with the investigation into the allegations, which included the district attorney’s office, outside forensic investigators and a thorough examination by the archdiocesan lay review board. “At the conclusion of all this, I was exonerated and returned to ministry,” he wrote.
Msgr. Paddack said an attorney recently held a press conference “in which I was again alleged to have acted inappropriately with minors years ago...I repeat my denial of these allegations…”
“I am sorry that you have to endure this troubling time, and deeply regret any pain this may cause you,” said Msgr. Paddack in his letter to parishioners.