Archdiocese of Boston Suspends Priest, SNAP Responds
By David Clohessy
May 25, 2012
We are grateful that the Archdiocese has notified the public that Rev. Joseph Byrne has been put on leave and that they have turned their evidence over to law enforcement. We hope that they will be sure to keep a tight rein on Rev. Byrne and monitor him closely now that he has been removed from ministry.
We urge Cardinal O’Malley to instruct his flock on how to respond appropriately when allegations of abuse surface. There may be some who will not believe these claims. It is important that parishioners don't make public statements or hold public demonstrations in support of this priest, as this will only deter other witnesses and victims from coming forward, and will intimidate those who already have come forward. Instead, they should be encouraged to support him privately, through prayers, calls or visits. (More ideas and tips can be found here: http://www.snapnetwork.org/links_homepage/when_priest_accused.htm]
What is most important at this stage is to allow the law enforcement investigation to play out. Anyone who has any information regarding Rev. Byrne or his alleged crimes should immediately contact Boston law enforcement.