St. James Employee Remembers Braley
By Sarah Thomas
Wicked Local Salem
February 23, 2012
From 1986 to 1990, Salem’s St. James parish was home to Rev. James E. Braley, a pastor who was recently placed in administrative leave after Archdiocese officials received an allegation of sexual abuse of a child.
Braley, who served most recently as the pastor of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha parish in Plymouth, also served in churches in Lynn and Marblehead. Church officials have said that the abuse was alleged to have happened in the early 1980s, a time when Braley was serving at St. Peter parish in Cambridge and Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree.
Diane Santos, administrator of religious education at St. James, said she started with the church 26 years ago, around the time that Braley arrived in Salem.
“Father Braley was a curate under Father Delaney, who was the senior pastor at the time,” Santos said. “Many of his duties involved working with the bishop, driving him around, things like that.”
Braley lived in the parish house and officiated at Mass during his time at Salem, but Santos said she did not remember him working closely with children.
“I don’t think he was the head of altar service,” Santos said. “I mostly remember him as a wonderful man, but very quiet. I was shocked when I heard the news.”
Santos said she had not seen Braley since a diocese meeting approximately one year after he left St. James in 1990.
“We did not talk much,” Santos said.
As reported by the Wicked Local North of Boston’s news partner, WCVB-TV, the archdiocese said it immediately notified law enforcement of the allegation and has initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint.
As a result, the Archdiocese has placed Braley on administrative leave pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation.
The Archdiocese said it would work to resolve the case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties.
“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 Sean P. O’Malley. “I know the faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese join me in this pledge of prayerful support.”