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Former Rochester pastor defrocked

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BRAINTREE -- On Sept. 11, the archdiocese announced that the Holy See has dismissed John P. Lyons from the clerical state. This means that he may no longer function in any capacity as a priest.

Born in 1928, Lyons was ordained in February 1955. His first assignment was at Immaculate Conception Parish in Weymouth, where he served until 1964. After that, he served at Our Lady of Presentation in Brighton until 1982, followed by a year at St. Anselm Parish in Sudbury. After a leave of health, he served as associate pastor of St. Nicholas Parish in West Abington from 1984 to 1986. He served as the pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Rochester from 1986-2002.

In June 2002, Lyons was removed from public ministry after two men filed lawsuits alleging that he abused them when they were altar boys during the 1970s and 1980s. In September 2002, he was arrested and charged with abusing a boy, age eight to 10 years, between 1987 and 1989.

Lyons was acquitted by a jury in 2005.

The archdiocese's Sept. 11 statement read in part, "We are grateful to the victims who had the strength to come forward. Their courage assisted the Church in seeking justice. We pray for all those affected by this matter."

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