Father Robert Ours, a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse, was sentenced to ten years probation in Onondaga County Court Nov. 5 after previously pleading guilty to six counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. He must also register as a level one sex offender.
Father Ours’ priestly faculties have been removed and he is no longer able to function as a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse, said diocesan Assistant Chancellor and Director of Communications Danielle Cummings. The diocese is still in the process of completing canonical proceedings, she said.
Father Ours was ordained in 1980 and served in several parishes in the Southern Tier. He was also a member of the faculty at Seton Catholic Central High School in Binghamton. Father Ours has not been in active ministry since 2011 due to personal reasons not related to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and has since lived at the Tommy Coyne Residence for Priests in Syracuse, according to diocesan Assistant Chancellor and Director of Communications Danielle Cummings.
The diocese “contacted Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick once it learned of Father Ours’ actions. The District Attorney’s Office conducted its own investigation with the full cooperation of the diocese. The inquiry led to the presentation of the case to the grand jury and the subsequent indictment,” the diocese said in a statement following Father Ours’ arraignment in May. He pleaded guilty to all the charges August 26.
To report known or suspected abuse in the diocese, contact law enforcement and the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at (315) 470-1465.