Former Waltham Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child

Archdiocese of Boston places Rev. Joseph F. Byrne on administrative leave of absence.

The Archdiocese of Boston announced today that it has placed Rev. Joseph F. Byrne, a former priest of a Waltham church, on an administrative leave of absence as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child.

Father Byrne is a retired priest living on the Cape and used to serve as a priest at Our Lady Commforter of the Afflicted Parish in Waltham from 1994-2002.  

Bryne, a Senior Priest with limited ministry in parishes in Falmouth, is listed on the website of St. Patrick's Church in Falmouth as a retired priest who serves that parish.

The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have occurred in the early-1970s and was only recently reported to the Archdiocese, according to a press release from the Archdiocese of Boston.

While St. Patrick's is part of the Fall River Diocese, Fr. Byrne served as a priest in the Boston Archdiocese before he retired. Here is a list of the parishes where he served: 1969-1975, St. Matthew, Dorchester; 1975-1985, St. John the Baptist, Quincy; 1985-1994, St. Albert the Great, Weymouth and 1994-2002, Our Lady Comforter of Afflicted, Waltham.

"The Archdiocese immediately notified law enforcement of the allegation and has initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint. 

"Fr. Byrne will remain on administrative leave without any public ministry pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation," stated the release.

“We remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions,” stated Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley. “I know the faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese join me in this pledge of prayerful support.”

"The decision to place Fr. Byrne on administrative leave represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the welfare of all parties and does not represent a determination of Fr. Byrne’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation.  The Archdiocese will work to resolve this case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties," stated the press release.

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 and by allegations of abuse by members of the clergy. Cardinal Seán encourages any person in need of pastoral assistance or support to contact the Archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach by calling (781) 794-2581.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally reported on Falmouth Patch, and has been re-posted here.


James F Moran May 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM
As a priest AND victim of clergy abuse I can offer the following: a child abused by parent or other family member, classmate, etc, will take anywhere from 20-30 years to discover that what happened to them was a crime, that they were not at fault, and that it had a negative impact on their life. If you raise the bar to the abuser being a "person of authority" (school teacher, minister, police/fire man etc) the child will take 30-40 years. The difference is the level of trust that has been shattered.
Ryan Grannan-Doll May 27, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Hi James, Thank you for your insightful comment. It lends a lot to the discussion.
joseph j sergi June 10, 2012 at 06:43 AM
Bravo Bravo thank you for your courage
Mike Jensen June 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Wasn't Father Byrne the rat who stole money from the church and was having an affair with one of the women parishioners? I thought he was forced down to the Cape because of that. Child abuser too? Dang.
Mike Jensen June 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Remember Father Buckley, take the money and run buckster.


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