March 18, 2006

Former local priests defrocked over sexual allegations

Metro West Daily News

By Nicole Simmons/ Daily News Staff
Saturday, March 18, 2006 - Updated: 02:46 AM EST

BOSTON -- Seven priests -- including one who served in Franklin and another who served in Bellingham -- accused of molesting children have been defrocked, church officials announced yesterday.

In a statement, Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley expressed his "deepest sorrow for the grievous harm" done by the priests, including Anthony Buchette, a former St. Mary’s priest in Franklin, and Robert Morrisette, a former priest at the now-closed Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Bellingham.

Also defrocked was Ernest Tourigney, who served in St. Mary’s in Holliston.

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

The removal of the seven men 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 18, 2006 07:03 AM