|Parish Saddened by Priest Sex Abuse Probe
February 23, 2009
Archdiocese Investigating LeBlanc Case
PLYMOUTH, Mass. -- Parishioners at St. Peter's Church in Plymouth reacted to the news Monday that the Archdiocese of Boston has pulled their pastor off the job after he was accused of sexually assaulting a child 30 years ago.
The Rev. Kenneth LeBlanc, 60, has been put on leave while the archdiocese investigates the abuse claims made by a woman who said the abuse took place at Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Wakefield when she was about 10.
On Monday, parishioners at St. Peter's arrived for morning Mass, clearly saddened by the news.
"It's just a sad case, that's all, and I wish it hadn't happened," Sister Florita Rodman said. "I hope that it will work out the best for the gal and for father."
Michelle Ann Cavalear-Price posted the allegations on a Web site called www.pedophilepriests.org.
"She put her own name out there and the name of her (alleged) perpetrator because she wanted to save other girls from going through what she had gone through," said Ann Barrett Doyle of www.bishopaccountability.org, an organization that tracks allegations of abuse nationally.
LeBlanc, has been pastor at St. Peter's since 2005 and has also been assigned to churches in Hudson, Waltham, Needham, Medway and Newton, the archdiocese said.
While the archdiocese investigates the case, visiting clergy will handle services at St. Peter's.
"It's very sad. Very sad and tragic for all concerned. And again, it's up to the church to investigate thoroughly and see that justice is done, one way or another," parishioner Joan Ashman said.
Many of the other parishioners arriving for Mass were surprised to learn what had happened.
"What this kind of stuff does is it brings the parishioners closer to church and it's just a tough situation," parishioner Marino Coppellotti said.
NewsCenter 5 was unable to contact the victim who identified herself on the Web site.
* February 23, 2009: Mass. Priest Facing Abuse Allegations
* February 22, 2009: Accused Mass. Priest Placed On Leave
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