Lynn Pastor Accused of Sex Abuse
By Cyrus Moulto
September 24, 2012
|The Rev. James E. Gaudreau |
LYNN — The Archdiocese of Boston has placed the Rev. James E. Gaudreau, pastor of St. Joseph's Church, on administrative leave after receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child, according to an Archdiocese statement Friday.
"The Archdiocese will work with the parish if there is any help that they need," said Archdiocese spokesperson Kellyanne Dignan in a phone interview Sunday. She declined to give any information on the complaint other than it involved a child, and the conduct in question is alleged to have occurred around 2006. The alleged conduct "was only recently reported to the Archdiocese," the statement said.
"To protect the privacy of the individual and to protect the integrity of the investigation, I cannot get into any more details of the complaint," Dignan said.
Gaudreau, 69, has been at the St. Joseph's since 1984 and its pastor since 1993, Dignan said. She said that the Archdiocese provided staff to assist with pastoral care and to celebrate Masses on Saturday and Sunday and informed parishioners. Dignan said Masses will continue as scheduled.
She said that the Archdiocese has notified the appropriate law enforcement and will also conduct its own investigation.
Gaudreau has been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, according to the statement. This means he is not allowed to exercise any public ministry, such as say Mass, take confession, etc. or publicly present himself as a priest, Dignan said. He also is not allowed to reside at a parish while on administrative leave, she wrote in an email.
The statement notes that the decision to place Gaudreau on administrative leave does not represent a determination of guilt or innocence.