Church obtains temporary restraining order against protesting attorney


The Holy Cross Roman Catholic church in Albany N.Y has obtained a temporary restraining order against an attorney who it said harassed parishioners and publicly accused a pastor of sexual abuse, the church said Wednesday.

According to the Albany Times Union, the temporary restraining order signed by state Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Spargo on Tuesday bars protesters from trespassing on church and school property and orders they remain 100 feet away from entrances. A hearing on a permanent injunction is scheduled for next week on Tuesday. The order was provided against attorney John Aretakis, who has brought several sex-abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany in recent years.

In a statement released Wednesday, the church said Aretakis has been involved in at least three confrontations with parishioners and neighbors at the church since June when he and a small group began picketing Sunday masses and leafleting cars.

Rev. Doyle has filed complaints with the lawyer disciplinary agency against Aretakis, who maintains offices in New York City and Albany, saying that the lawyer has made false allegations against him.

Earlier this month, an internal investigation by the church found "no reasonable cause" for the allegations against Maher and he remains a priest in good standing, according to the statement.

Although he claims that Diocese investigations are incomplete, Aretakis has failed to provide the names of alleged witnesses who allegedly support claims made by himself and his client against the clergy.

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