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BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced Feb. 4 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 retired Senior Priest. The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have occurred in the early-1970s and was 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. The decision to place Father Byrne on administrative leave represents the archdiocese's 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.
Father Byrne was the subject of a previous allegation made in 2012 relating to conduct alleged to have occurred in the 1970s. After a complete investigation into the initial allegations and an evaluation of those claims by the Archdiocesan Review Board, the allegations were found to be unsubstantiated and no criminal charges were filed.
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 Seán P. 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.