11 August 2012
By Derek Anderson – Globe Correspondent
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said Friday that a local priest was assigned to senior priest status with restrictions after charges against him of sexual abuse of a minor were ruled “unsubstantiated.” The Rev. John E. McLaughlin was placed on administrative leave in 2005 after a report of alleged sexual abuse in the 1980s. The new restrictions involve the priest’s ministry only being exercised with permission of an oversight unit of the archdiocese, with the exception of “sacramental celebrations with members of his family,” a statement from the archdiocese said.
Derek Anderson can be reached at [email protected]
Former East Somerville priest cleared of molestation charges by Archdiocese
The Wicked Local Somerville (Massachusetts)
Posted Aug 10, 2012 @ 05:08 PM
Somerville — A Somerville priest accused of sexually abusing a child 7 years ago has been cleared of the charge by the Archdiocese of Boston, but he will no longer minister at his old parish.
The Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston concluded claims of sexual abuse involving John E. McLaughlin of St. Benedict’s in East Somerville were “unsubstantiated,” according to a press release. McLaughlin was placed on administrative leave in 2005 and is now assigned the status of Senior Priest, which essentially means he is retired, according to Archdiocese spokeswoman Kellyanne Dignan.
The press release states that “Cardinal Seán O’Malley recognized that this matter took an unusually long time to adjudicate and prays for all persons impacted by these matters.” Dignan said the Archdiocese has examined more than 1,000 claims of abuse since 2002.
“Every attempt has been made to bring [cases] to an expeditious conclusion,” Dignan said. “But there are cases that take longer than we would like and this is one.”
The 2005 accusations were based on an incident the accuser said occurred in the 1980s, before McLaughlin arrived at St. Benedict’s in 1986. But in 2003, two adult men accused McLauglin of sexual assault at the church. In one of the accusations, a 40-year-old man accused McLaughlin of pawing his groin area and trying to kiss the victim while he was seeking advice from the priest about troubles in his family.
Both accusations were part of an $85 million settlement between the archdiocese and abuse victims, in which neither the church nor any priests admitted responsibility.
At the time of the 2005 accusations, parishioners rallied behind McLaughlin. According to a Journal article, more than 300 people showed up at a meeting to support him.
“This is nonsense,” said parishioner John Morabito as the crowd erupted with applause, according to the article. “That man is a wonderful person.”
August 10 , 2012 – Archdiocese of Boston Returns Reverend John E. Mclaughlin To Ministry
Archdiocese of Boston’s website: Press Releases
(Braintree, MA) August 10, 2012…The Archdiocese of Boston today made the following statement regarding Reverend John E. McLaughlin:
“The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that a trial conducted at the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston regarding an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Father John E. McLaughlin has concluded the charge to be unsubstantiated. Fr. McLaughlin was placed on administrative leave in 2005 following the Archdiocese’s receipt of a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor which was alleged to have occurred in the 1980s. Fr. McLaughlin is no longer on administrative leave and has now been assigned the status of Senior Priest, restricted. His restriction involves other matters not related to children.