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BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced May 25 that it has placed Father Joseph F. Byrne on an administrative leave of absence as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child. Father Byrne is a Senior Priest with limited ministry in parishes in the Falmouth area on Cape Cod. The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have occurred in the early-1970s and was only recently reported to the archdiocese.
The archdiocese immediately notified law enforcement of the allegation and has initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint. Father Byrne will remain on administrative leave without any public ministry pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation.
In a statement, the archdiocese said that the decision to place Father Byrne on administrative leave represents its commitment to the welfare of all parties and does not represent a determination of Father Byrne's guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation. The archdiocese will work to resolve this case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties.
"We remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions," Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley said.
"I know the faithful and the clergy of the archdiocese join me in this pledge of prayerful support."
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 O'Malley 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.