Boston, Mass., Mar 20, 2006 / 22:00 pm
The Archdiocese of Boston announced yesterday that 8 priests who were charged with sexual abuse have now been removed from the clerical state.
A final decision from the Holy See has determined that Anthony Buchette, Joseph Crowley, Paul Finegan, Thomas Forry, Robert Morrisette, Frederick Ryan, Ernest Tourigney and Patrick Tague will now cease to receive any financial support from the Archdiocese and can no longer publicly exercise their priestly authority in the Church.
In a statement, Archbishop Sean O’Malley said that "During these days of Lent we are called in a particular way to repentance and conversion…With this Lenten call in mind, this moment provides an opportunity to express to the survivors of clergy sexual abuse and to their families my deepest sorrow for the grievous harm done to them.”
He said that “The violations of childhood innocence, under the guise of priestly care, are a source of profound shame,” adding his hope that “that the emotional, physical, and spiritual wounds carried by survivors will be healed and their trust renewed.”
The Archbishop, who will become a cardinal on Friday, pledged the “on-going commitment of the Archdiocese to accompany those who have been abused in their healing work."
Although the 8 men have been removed from the clerical state, they are still permitted to offer absolution to the dying in cases of extreme circumstance.