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Former Lynn pastor found guilty of abuse

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BRAINTREE -- On Sept. 10 the archdiocese announced that Father James Gaudreau, the former pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Lynn, has been found guilty of abuse of a minor and has been sentenced to live a life of prayer and penance.

Father Gaudreau was placed on administrative leave in September 2012 when an allegation was made that he had sexually abused a child in 2006. Archdiocesan officials notified police, and investigations were launched by the archdiocese, the Essex County District Attorney's Office, and the Lynn Police Department.

In September 2013, it was announced that prosecutors would not be pressing charges, but the Church continued its own investigation.

In a Sept. 10 statement, the archdiocese said Father Gaudreau's "sentence has been affirmed by the Vatican to live a life of Prayer and Penance. He is not permitted to exercise any public ministry, including not being allowed to celebrate public Mass. He may not provide spiritual direction, may not wear clerical attire and cannot function in any manner as a priest."

"Having been found guilty he is forbidden from all public ministry and from otherwise presenting himself as a priest. He is expected to dedicate his life to praying for victims and repenting of his past offenses. In this way, the Church seeks even here to prevent any future abuse and to repair the injustice that has already taken place," the archdiocese said.

Ordained in Boston in 1969, Father Gaudreau was assigned to St. Patrick Parish in Roxbury until 1975, and then to St. Rose of Lima Parish in Chelsea until 1984. He came to St. Joseph Parish as the Spanish apostolate for the Lynn area.

Counseling and other services for clergy abuse survivors and their families are available through the archdiocese's Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, which can be contacted at 617-746-5985.

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