Priest cleared of abuse allegation

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced Sept. 29 that Father Charles Murphy has been restored to the status of senior priest after being cleared of allegations that he sexually abused a minor 40 years ago.

The move came after an investigation by the archdiocese's Review Board found sexual abuse accusations against him were unsubstantiated.

The Review Board, an interfaith committee comprised of psychiatrists, social workers, survivors of clergy sexual abuse, parents, an educator, a retired law enforcement agent, a judge and a pastor, advises the cardinal on complaints and policy matters relating to child protection.

In April 2010, Father Murphy was placed on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor dating back to 1970. After receiving the allegation, the archdiocese immediately notified law enforcement and launched an investigation into the complaint.

"I am pleased that this process has reached a conclusion, and thank the Archdiocesan investigators and Review Board members for their diligent efforts to evaluate and resolve this matter," Cardinal O'Malley said in a statement. "I look forward to discussing with Father Murphy how he can continue to serve God and the people of this Archdiocese."

Cardinal O'Malley also expressed his commitment to protect children, support survivors, and work with law enforcement agencies and community professionals to report and investigate instances of sexual abuse.

Father Murphy was the subject of previous allegations made in 2004 relating to conduct alleged to have occurred decades ago. After an investigation into the initial allegations and an evaluation of those claims by the archdiocese's Review Board at that time, those allegations were found to be unsubstantiated and the related civil claims were dropped.