Monday, June 14, 2010

Quincy priest accused of sexually abusing children

Quincy priest accused of sexually abusing children
Updated: Monday, 14 Jun 2010, 9:00 AM EDT
Published : Sunday, 13 Jun 2010, 10:22 PM EDT

Erin Hawksworth
QUINCY (FOX 25 / - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has placed a Quincy priest on administrative leave pending an investigation into child sex abuse allegations that date back about 50 years.

Church officials say the Rev. Dominic Menna will not be allowed to perform the duties of a priest and will not be allowed to live at St. Mary's Church in Quincy pending the outcome of the allegations.

The church has notified law enforcement. The archdiocese did not release details of the alleged abuse or the victim or victims.

Menna could not be reached for comment.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley said in a statement he remains committed to "the healing process."

The Archdiocese of Boston released the following statement:

The Archdiocese of Boston announced that it has placed Rev. Dominic F. Menna on administrative leave as a result of receiving allegations of sexual abuse of children. The allegations concern conduct alleged to have occurred approximately 50 years ago. Fr. Menna is a senior priest in residence at St. Mary's Church in Quincy.

The Archdiocese immediately notified law enforcement of the allegations and has initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaints. Fr. Menna will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation. The decision to place Fr. Menna on administrative leave represents the Archdiocese's commitment to the safety of all parties and does not represent a determination of Fr. Menna's guilt or innocence as it pertains to these allegations. The Archdiocese will work to resolve this case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties.

"I recognize that news of these allegations may be a source of distress for many people," stated Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley. "My prayers and concern are with all people who are impacted by this matter. I remain committed to doing everything possible to protect our children, to further the healing process and to rebuild trust."

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. Further, the Archdiocese and the Rev. David Callahan, pastor of St. Mary's, are making arrangements for the ongoing pastoral care of the parish community. Fr. Menna is receiving appropriate care through the Office of Pastoral Care for Priests.

About the Archdiocese of Boston's Child Protection Efforts
Since his installation, Cardinal Seán has made it a priority to create safe environments in the Archdiocese's churches and schools and to continue to support all people impacted by clergy sexual abuse. The policies and practices of the Archdiocese include working with law enforcement agencies and community professionals to report and investigate instances of sexual abuse, annually screening approximately 60,000 clergy, employees and volunteers, and implementing effective prevention training programs. In addition, through the Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach (OPSO), the Archdiocese continues to reach out to those who have been harmed by the tragic reality of clergy sexual abuse in order to provide pastoral help and counseling services to survivors and their families.

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