March 28, 2005

Editorial: Accused priest holds no grudge

SALEM (MA)
Salem News

The Easter Sunday just past was an especially joyous one for the Rev. Edward Keohan, who returned to the pulpit for the first time in 19 months.

The beloved former pastor of the closed St. Mary's Italian Catholic Church in Salem and Salem Hospital chaplain, had been living under a cloud since a Gloucester man said he'd been abused by Keohan in the early 1980s. Last week the Boston Archdiocese said it could find no evidence of such abuse and authorized Keohan, 73, to resume his official duties.

Remarkably, Keohan evidences no bitterness towards his accuser or the church, and says he is simply looking forward to resuming his vocation of 40 years, though he is still not sure of his next assignment.

The fact that other priests have been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of such abuse, and the church has paid out millions to settle claims of misconduct, does not lessen the extent of the injustice Keohan has suffered. Few can imagine the pain he has had to endure since learning of the accusations and suspension via a friend who himself heard about it from the TV.

Posted by kshaw at March 28, 2005 02:22 PM