Skip to comments.Boston Priest Defrocked by Vatican
Posted on 07/30/2005 12:48:51 PM PDT by NYer
The Vatican has defrocked the priest who was the first in Massachusetts convicted of sexual abuse more than two decades ago, the Boston Archdiocese said Friday.
In 1984, Eugene O'Sullivan was sentenced to probation after he admitted sodomizing a 13-year-old altar boy. A condition of his sentence was that he not be allowed to work with children.
But O'Sullivan was later assigned to four New Jersey parishes. He was recalled to Boston in 1992 after church officials learned of another allegation against him dating to his time in Massachusetts.
The Vatican's action to defrock O'Sullivan means he may no longer function as a priest in any capacity, except to offer absolution to the dying. Defrocked priests also are cut off from any financial support from the archdiocese.
Documents from O'Sullivan's personnel file, made public in 2002, show that that the archdiocese was alerted as early as the 1960s to allegations against him.
In a 2003 deposition he gave in lawsuits filed against the archdiocese, Cardinal Bernard Law defended his decision to allow O'Sullivan to transfer, saying he wanted to give O'Sullivan a chance at "redemption."
Law resigned as archbishop of Boston but remains a cardinal.
A second priest, Paul E. McDonald, also was defrocked. According to McDonald's personnel file, he was accused of sexually abusing several boys in the 1960s, when he was a priest at St. Joseph Church in Boston.
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Although I've never supported the CORPUS or Rent-a-Priest crowd, I've never heard of them being a haven for pedophile priests.
Do you have a source which cites them as such?
Cardinal Law is not going to be charged with anything.
Where does this nonsense about him hiding overseas come from? He went to Rome because he isn't wanted here.
Looking at the Vatican's history, JPII was either unwilling or unable to take action.
Benedict is obviously not so contrained. He's apparently intent on a long-overdue housecleaning.
We may have gotten two good Popes in a row here, as many hoped.
I think Law has a very, very nasty surprise coming to him from Benedict. You don't want to be anywhere near him when that happens...
How is McCarrick staying above the fray in this one? Why did he accept O'Sullivan to a Metuchen parish? (That's not in the article - I've been googling).
Sure took them long enough. I believe they should investigate Law. He was just a bit too lenient with the pedophile priests to be totally innocent IMO.
Could your or some other knowlegable Latin Christian explain to me both when and why the ancient canons which called for the deposition and laicization of priests guilty of 'sins unto death' (that is of the short list of sins punishable under the Old Covenant by execution--murder, 'lying with a man as with a woman', mediumism, adultery,. . .) were abandoned by the Latin church?
This whole mess could have been avoided if the ancient canons had been enforced, and it has been a constant source of wonder to me that they weren't.
No rush to justice here.....
Justice delayed, and thousands of children exposed.
Does that mean he went to Rome because he is wanted there?
"At this time one of the ministers brings the degradandus a crosier, which the degrading prelate takes from his hands, saying, "Thy shepherd's staff we take from thee, that thou shalt be powerless henceforward to exercise that office of correction, which thou hast brought to disarray."
For the full text in Latin see Pontificale Romanum (1895)
But I think Benedict may be thinking of topping off degradation with excommunication for Law and any of his assistants.
Like I said, you won't want to be anywhere nearby when Benedict gets around to Law. I also suspect that Law is in Rome because Benedict wants Law where he can keep an eye on him until Law's time comes to answer for his actions.
Can we link any of the perps to Teddy Kennedy or John Kerry? Same church, same committees, sailing club, connections like that? We know of the connection between Boston liberalism and the spread of evil in Boston, but can we begin to put more names together?
My impression from postings here is a steady stream of defrockings of pervert priests in the last month or so. Maybe just a change in reporting or posting. Maybe just a series of legal actions that were moving through the system but were delayed during Pope John Paul's illness. But maybe a major housecleaning.
I believe that there have been more defrockings of pedophile priests in the last three months alone than in the past three years. I don't think there's been a change in reporting/posting - I'm smelling "housecleaning" here.
The Code in effect since 1983 says:
Can. 1395 §2 A cleric who has offended in other ways against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, if the crime was committed by force, or by threats, or in public, or with a minor under the age of sixteen years, is to be punished with just penalties, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state if the case so warrants.
Previously, since 1917, the code had read:
Can. 2359. § 2. If they [clerics in sacred orders] commit a crime against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue with minors below the age of sixteen years, or if they commit adultery, fornication, bestiality, sodomy, encouragement of prostitution, incest with those of the same blood or with affinity in the first degree, let them be suspended and declared infamous, from any office, benefice, dignity, or function, if they have it, let them be deprived, and in graver cases let them be deposed.
Since before 1917, the canon law wasn't codified, I can't find anything before then. Presumably it was thought necessary at some point to 'economize' the laws to which you refer, and this passed eventually into Canon Law; I understand that the Orthodox likewise retain some ancient canons in their collections, but do not consider themselves strictly bound to them. At any rate, it seems clear that the procedures laid down by Canon Law were not followed in sexual abuse cases in the United States - before or after 1983 -, since these reassigned priests were obviously not suspended or deposed.
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