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Archdiocese of Boston returns Father Eugene Sullivan to active ministry


Father Eugene Sullivan Pilot file photo

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BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced Jan. 16 that Father Eugene Sullivan has been returned to active ministry.

In 2005, Father Sullivan began an administrative leave following the archdiocese’s receipt of a single complaint of sexual abuse of a minor in 1977. After careful review of the complaint, the Archdiocesan Review Board determined that the allegation was unsubstantiated. As a result of this finding, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has lifted all restrictions on Father Sullivan’s exercise of public ministry as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Weymouth.

As noted in media reports at the time the allegation was received by the archdiocese, a lawsuit relating to this allegation was brought in Superior Court. In that suit, allegations of abuse were also brought by the same plaintiff against two other Boston priests, as to whom the archdiocese had received prior accusations. The archdiocese has received no other complaints concerning Father Sullivan, either before or since the filing of this suit, and Father Sullivan has denied the single allegation that was made against him in this lawsuit. The archdiocese and the plaintiff have now reached a settlement and the case has been dismissed as to all parties. Father Sullivan did not make a contribution to payment in achieving a resolution to this claim and payment made by the archdiocese does not constitute an admission of liability upon the part of Father Sullivan.

In welcoming Father Sullivan back to St. Francis Xavier Parish, Cardinal O’Malley expressed his sincere gratitude to Father Thomas Kelly and Father Richard S. DeVeer, who have served the parish as Temporary Administrators, and reiterated his firm intention to resolve cases of this type as expeditiously as possible, in a manner that is just for all parties concerned.

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