The Independent is the only East End newspaper reporting on the priest pedophile scandal on the East End and the fact the scandal infected Sag Harbor in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.
We first broke the story in 2003. Most recently, a brave victim, Albert Ryan, told his story in the March 31 edition of this newspaper.
Father Albert Soave, who was appointed pastor of St. Andrews in Sag Harbor in 1969, blossomed there, despite his pedophile proclivities for underage boys. In fact, he was promoted to a larger parish, St. Hugh in Huntington Station in 1973 to make way for William Burke, who was appointed the new pastor at St. Andrews. A Suffolk County Grand Jury determined in 2003 that the Rockville Centre Diocese was using the sleepy whaling town as a “dumping grounds” for pedophile priests.
Burke was accused in court of raping a teenage boy — The Independent interviewed the victim. Burke died when a fire ravaged the Hampton Bays cottage where the rape allegedly took place a few years earlier.
Soave, emboldened because he was able to operate in Sag Harbor without being detected by authorities, became more brazen and was accused in court in the Grand Jury report of raping and fondling numerous victims, including three altar boys. The subject of our interview was one of them.
Next week, an altar boy at St. Hugh in 1974.