Priest in Falmouth Area Placed on Leave After Child Sex Abuse Allegation
A senior priest whose assignments over the years included stints in Dorchester, Quincy, Weymouth, and Waltham, has been placed on administrative leave after officials received an allegation of child sex abuse, the Archdiocese of Boston said today.
The allegation against the Rev. Joseph Byrne, who now has a limited ministry in the Falmouth area, dates back to the early 1970s and was only recently reported to church officials, the archdiocese said in a statement.
The archdiocese said it had notified law enforcement and initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint.
Byrne will be barred from ministering to the public until the preliminary investigation is finished.
The archdiocese said it was acting not because it had made a determination of his guilt or or innocence but out of “commitment to the welfare of all parties.” It promised to work as quickly as possible and in a fair manner to resolve the case.
“We remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions,” Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said in a statement. “I know the faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese join me in this pledge of prayerful support.”