March 17, 2006

Seven priests accused of sexual abuse are defrocked


By Denise Lavoie, AP Legal Affairs Writer | March 17, 2006

BOSTON --A former vice chancellor of the Boston Archdiocese and six other priests accused of molesting children have been defrocked, church officials announced Friday.

In a statement, Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley expressed his "deepest sorrow for the grievous harm" done by Monsignor Frederick Ryan and the other Boston priests.

"The violations of childhood innocence, under the guise of priestly care, are a source of profound shame," O'Malley said.

Ryan was one of the highest-ranking church officials to be accused of child molestation since the clergy sex abuse scandal broke in 2002. He was placed on administrative leave that year after being accused of abusing two boys in the 1970s and '80s at a Catholic high school.

The removal of Ryan and the six others from the priesthood means they are no longer allowed to perform any public ministry in the church. They also will no longer receive any financial support from the archdiocese. The Vatican also stripped a deacon of his duties.

Posted by kshaw at March 17, 2006 06:02 PM