Archdiocese announces former Boston priests are no longer in the clerical state

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced June 13 that the Holy See has determined that Robert F. Daly, John Keane, Robert Knapp, and Benjamin McMahon are no longer in the clerical state.

Daly, Knapp and McMahon sought, through a voluntary process, to be removed from the clerical state. Keane was dismissed from the clerical state. As a result of the Holy See's decisions, they may no longer function in any capacity as priests, with the exception of offering absolution to the dying. The four men have not received any financial support from the archdiocese in more than two decades.

Daly, ordained in 1967, has not had faculties to minister publicly since 1984 when he began a leave of absence. After leaving ministry, he was accused of sexually abusing minors occurring in the 1970s and early 1980s.

In 2008, Keane pleaded guilty to one charge of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 as well as three charges of assault and battery on a child. At the time the accusations were made, he had not served in the archdiocese for nearly 20 years having been absent without permission since 1989. He was ordained in 1969.

Knapp, ordained in 1965, was first accused of sexually abusing a minor in 1985. He has been absent without permission from the archdiocese since 1988.

McMahon has not had faculties since 1986 when he was granted a leave of absence. He was first accused of sexually abusing a minor in 1991 and has been suspended since that time.

In addition to announcing the Holy See's decisions, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley expressed his continued prayers for all persons impacted by the painful reality of sexual abuse of children and young people by clergy. Cardinal O'Malley also encouraged 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.