Boston Catholic Priest Facing New Sex Abuse Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that a Catholic priest who had been cleared of allegations of child sexual abuse is facing new ones and has been barred from any ministry.

The Rev. Thomas M. Curran, 65, was placed on administrative leave from 2002 to 2007 following the previous allegations. In 2007, he was placed in permanent disability status, which allowed him to celebrate only the sacraments with his family.

Until the new allegations, which date to the 1970s and ’80s, are investigated, Curran will be barred from any ministry, including with his family, the archdiocese said in a statement. It did not disclose other details about the new allegations.

Kelly Lynch, archdiocesan spokeswoman, said church officials notified the attorney general’s office and the Middlesex district attorney’s office. She said the church would investigate internally.

In 2002, a prison inmate accused Curran of rape. The inmate, who was serving time for raping a young boy, alleged that the priest raped him in the 1970s and introduced him to another figure in the clergy abuse scandal, Paul M. Shanley, a former priest convicted of abuse.

Curran denied the charges, telling the Boston Globe in 2003, ”None of it is true,” and lamenting that ”some psychopath from a prison” would get him thrown out of the ministry. He was cleared by the archdiocese in 2007.

”This case shows, yet again, how extraordinarily flawed so-called church ‘investigations’ into child sex reports are,” David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement. ”Catholics, citizens and cops should be extremely skeptical when Catholic officials claim they have ‘cleared’ an accused pedophile priest.”

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