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BRIGHTON -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced March 22 that Anthony J. Laurano and W. James Nyhan have been dismissed from the clerical state. With these decisions by the Holy See, both men have ceased to receive any financial support from the archdiocese and may no longer function as priests, with the exception of offering absolution to the dying.
Laurano, who retired in 1995, has been restricted from any public ministry since 2002 due to allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Laurano was indicted on two counts of child rape and was arraigned in Plymouth Superior Court in April 2005. In 2006, new charges were brought against him by the Plymouth district attorney.
Nyhan, who was ordained a priest of the archdiocese in 1973, was placed on administrative leave in 2002 after the archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Last year, Nyhan was convicted of criminal charges involving the sexual abuse of children while he served in Charleston, S.C., more than 25 years ago.
With the conclusion of these cases, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley stated, “For those who have been sexually abused by members of the clergy, I sincerely apologize for the suffering you and your families have endured. Sexual crimes perpetrated against children or vulnerable adults by priests are shameful and grievous. I remain committed to providing support for survivors and their loved ones who have experienced such profound emotional and spiritual suffering as a result of these depraved acts.”