On May 25, The Archdiocese of Boston announced that it had placed Rev. Joseph F. Byrne on an administrative leave of absence as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child. Fr. Byrne is a Senior Priest with limited ministry in parishes in the Falmouth area on Cape Cod, and has been suspended for an incident alleged to have occurred in the early-1970s.

The Archdiocese immediately notified law enforcement of the allegation and has initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint. Fr. Byrne will remain on administrative leave without any public ministry pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation. In keeping with standard procedure, the decision to place Fr. Byrne on administrative leave purely represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the welfare of all parties, and does not represent a determination of Fr. Byrne’s guilt or innocence.

“We remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions,” stated Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley. “I know the faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese join me in this pledge of prayerful support.”

Since his installation, Cardinal Seán has made it a priority to create safe environments in churches and schools. The policies and practices of the Archdioces Child Protection Efforts include working with law enforcement to screen approximately 60,000 clergy, employees, and volunteers per year.

Through its Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, the Archdiocese continues to make counseling and other services available to survivors, their families and parishes impacted by clergy sexual abuse and by allegations of abuse by members of the clergy. Cardinal Seán encourages any person in need of pastoral assistance or support to contact the Archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach by calling (781) 794-2581.

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