A priest who assisted at Our Lady of Joy Parish in Cave Creek has been removed from public ministry because of past sexual misconduct with young men, including inappropriate touching, dating to the 1970s and ’80s.
In addition, the Rev. Neil Emon, 61, a member of the Crosier Fathers and Brothers, will no longer lead the community of nine Crosier priests who live in central Phoenix, a spokesman for the order said Monday.
Emon has served in the Valley since 2000. There have been no known complaints about his behavior since his arrival.
The Diocese of Phoenix and the Crosier order were aware of complaints against Emon at the time he was assigned to Phoenix, said David Kostik, communications director for the order, which is based in St. Paul, Minn.
One of the conditions of Emon’s ministry restricted him from being alone with anyone younger than 30, Kostik added.
Emon has been in treatment since the Crosier order first learned of complaints against him in 1991. He was removed from his duties after the order received new information about his past.
“We were not aware of the full extent of his past behaviors,” Kostik said. “It was more serious than we had believed it to be.”
Parishioners at Our Lady of Joy learned of Emon’s departure in an announcement read from the pulpit late last month by another Crosier priest.
Contacted by telephone, Emon had no comment.