The Priest Files; Rare Priest Has Admitted His Acts
By Robin Washington and Jules Crittenden
December 4, 2002
Among a small minority of priests accused of sexual abuse, the Rev. Peter Frost has admitted his acts.
"I find myself very embarrassed and ashamed for all the harm and pain that I have caused my victims and the archdiocese," he wrote from Maryland's St. Luke's clergy treatment center.
"There have been days that I wished the Lord would let me die and then I could cause no more problems."
Written a year after his 1992 placement on sick leave and more than a decade following the first accusation against him, Frost's letter to the Rev. John B. McCormack, now bishop of Manchester, N.H., held out for the unlikely chance he could some day return to ministry.
Six years later, Bernard Cardinal Law expressed that same desire.
"It is my hope that some day in the future you will return to an appropriate ministry, bringing with you the wisdom which emerges from difficult experience," Law wrote to Frost in April 1999 in a letter reminding him of his prohibition from publicly celebrating Mass.
Following his 1970 ordination, Frost was assigned to Holy Ghost in Whitman. The next year he became a military chaplain but by 1974 was placed on sick leave - a term euphemistically used throughout the documents as a synonym for priests with abuse charges.
He was returned to a parish three years later, serving at St. Gerard Majella Church in Canton, where in 1980 a charge surfaced that he had abused a minor. Though reassigned two more times - to Milton and to Readville - he was eventually placed on permanent sick leave and sent for treatment at St. Luke's.
Granted a special dispensation to care for his mother in their Natick home rather than join a group house of alleged abuser priests, Frost has lived in a quiet neighborhood, where his well-kept white house has a statue of the Virgin Mary in the back yard, behind which are town playing fields and a children's playground.
With no answer at the home yesterday, his neighbors said they aren't concerned about his background.
"I don't know what the facts are," said one, adding that another neighbor knows Frost well as a priest and has assured her the allegations are groundless.
"There was a hubbub when the news first came out," she said. But she said most of the neighbors are elderly. "Even with the playground, there aren't a lot of kids around."
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