May 18, 2006

Archbishop to lead prayer service for abuse victims

Needham Times

Thursday, May 18, 2006

St. Joseph Church in Needham is one of nine parishes directly affected by the clergy sexual abuse crisis that Cardinal Sean O'Malley will visit during the last week in May to "ask forgiveness" of those hurt by the Church, according to the Archdiocese of Boston.

O'Malley will lead a prayer service at St. Joseph's on Tuesday, May 30, 7:30 p.m., as part of a "Pilgrimage of Repentance and Hope." The Novena services will be held in nine communities "that have experienced an especially painful history of sexual abuse of children by priests, and at one parish, by a lay youth worker," according to the archdiocese.

Lawsuits were filed in Suffolk Superior Court against Paul J. Mahan, a defrocked priest who served at St. Joseph Parish from 1979 to 1982, alleging that Mahan molested more than 13 children from the 1960s to the 1990s. Two of those lawsuits were filed by former Needham residents who alleged Mahan repeatedly molested them in 1980 and 1982, while the priest served at St. Joseph's.

Prior to his serving in Needham, Mahan reportedly was accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl in Dorchester.

Posted by kshaw at May 18, 2006 05:24 AM