.- Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of Boston celebrated a mass of reconciliation at St. Mary’s church last weekend. The parish, which was strongly hit by the sex-abuse scandal, was one of the archbishop’s first stops in his parish tour of the archdiocese.
The pastor, Fr. Bryan Parrish, told MPG the archbishop made St. Mary's an early stop because one of the parish's former priests, John Hanlon, was one of the first priests identified in the church sex scandal. Hanlon was convicted in 1994 of raping an altar boy while pastor of the church.
About 500 people packed the church for the mass and hundreds more waited in line after mass to meet the archbishop and receive his blessing. Many view the new archbishop as a humble and gentle Church leader who will restore their faith in the Church, reported MPG Newspapers.
Fr. Parrish said most people have moved beyond the scandal and want to close the gap it created between the church hierarchy and the laity.
This was the archbishop’s second visit to Plymouth.