New priests prepare for their ordination at the Freisinger Dom cathedral, June 29, 2013 in Freising, Germany Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

A priest in Rome, New York, has been put on a leave of absence after an investigation was launched into an allegation he abused a minor. The Rev. Paul Angelicchio, who has been the pastor of the St. John the Baptist and Transfiguration parish in Rome since 2011, was the subject of a recent allegation made to the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office over an event that took place 27 years ago.

Angelicchio, who grew up in the city in upstate New York and served as the police chaplain for Syracuse from 1977 to 1999, told his parishioners last month that he would be taking a leave of absence. In a statement, a spokeswoman for Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse said that, while the allegation had not been substantiated, it was following policy in temporarily removing Angelicchio from active duty.

“Father Paul Angelicchio has been temporarily placed on administrative leave due to an allegation of abuse of a minor,” read the statement from spokeswoman Danielle Cummings. “The alleged incident would have taken place 27 years ago. The allegation was first made to the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office who forwarded it to the diocese after their review. Please note that the allegation has not been substantiated. But in keeping with the policy and practice of the diocese, and in conformity with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Father Angelicchio is not permitted to publicly function as a priest until the matter is resolved. The diocese will follow its policy in regards to allegations of abuse including having the entire matter reviewed by professionals and the Diocesan Review Board.”

Angelicchio was given a community award in May for his service to Rome.

While the exact nature of the allegation facing Angelicchio at this stage is unclear, the Catholic Church has been hit by a string of sexual abuse allegations against priests in recent years. Perhaps the most notable came in Boston, where a series of cases and subsequent cover-ups were exposed by the Boston Globe in 2002. In New York, meanwhile, it was revealed in 2012 that Cardinal Timothy Dolan authorized payments of up to $20,000 to priests who had committed sexual abuse so that they would not contest being dismissed from the priesthood.

In October, Dolan announced the establishment of a program that would allow victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy to apply for compensation. The move was seen as a response to calls for the statute of limitations, which currently prevents many victims of sexual abuse seeking redress in the courts, to be lifted, Some 46 people filed claims in the program’s first two months.