N.J. Pastor faces charges for racial slurs

Date Published: 01/20/2005

Man Allegedly called churches

EWING, N.J. — An 82-year-old white man who is a pastor left messages at three Trenton-area black churches calling Martin Luther King Day an “N” holiday.

The Rev. Paul Shafran asked for forgiveness at a news conference held by black ministers to denounce the messages Wednesday.

The pastor emeritus of Saint Vladimir Orthodox Church said he acted out of foolishness and without malice. Shafran could not explain why he made the calls on Monday.

Shafran told the ministers he did not realize the “N” word was offensive.

More than a dozen black ministers prayed with Shafran and asked god to bless him.

Police have charged the retired minister with harassment and bias intimidation.