Fr. Joseph P. Byrns

Diocese:  Diocese of Brooklyn

Summary of Assignments:

  • 1969-1983: St. Anastasia; Douglastown, NY
  • Unknown-July 2002: St. Rose of Lima Church; Brooklyn, NY


Byrns was removed as pastor of St. Rose of Lima in July 2002.

In an October 2002 civil suit, Byrns was accused of sexually abusing two brothers during the 1970s at St. Anastasia. They had notified the Diocese of the sexual abuse in 1997, but Byrns was allowed to continue working as a pastor. Byrns denied the allegations.

In June 2004, Byrns was dismissed from ministry.

In August 2004, Byrns was arraigned on charges of sexually abusing an 11-year-old altar boy at St. Rose of Lima from 2000 to 2002. The alleged abuse occurred in the rectory and included fondling, which escalated to sodomy. Byrns reportedly used threats and bribes of money or toys to keep the boy silent. In January 2006, Byrns pled guilty to child endangerment and served 3 years probation.

Sources:  Boston Globe 7.2.04; Newsday 2.4.04; Boston Globe 03.14.02; NY Times 03.15.02; NY Times 10.16.02; NY Post 08.19.04; NY Post 08.20.04; Queens Chronicle 08.26.04; NY Daily News 01.13.06; New York Post 03.29.06