March 18, 2006

Former Salem priest defrocked by Vatican

The Salem News

Tom Dalton
Staff Writer

SALEM A former Salem priest who admitted making sexual advances on a teenage boy at St. Joseph's Parish two decades ago is one of eight Boston area Catholic clergymen defrocked yesterday by the Vatican.

The Rev. Robert Morrisette, who served here from 1976 to '84, is "no longer in the clerical state," the Archdiocese of Boston announced yesterday.

The group of priests and one lay deacon removed yesterday includes Monsignor Frederick Ryan, vice chancellor of the archdiocese from 1974 to 1995 and one of the highest-ranking clergymen charged since the priest sexual abuse scandal erupted in 2002.

The banned priests will no longer receive financial support from the archdiocese and cannot perform public ministry, except to the dying, the archdiocese said.

Posted by kshaw at March 18, 2006 06:58 AM