Vatican Defrocks Three Central Massachusetts Roman Catholic Priests
By Kevin Koczwara
March 5, 2013
WORCESTER — The Vatican has defrocked three priests from the Worcester Diocese who were accused of sexual abuse.
Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, announced today that David Blizard, Thomas Kane, and Robert Shauris are no longer in the clerical state.. Pope Benedict XVI accepted the voluntary laicizations of Thomas Kane and Robert Shauris prior to his resignation as the Roman Pontiff. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made the decision in the case of David Blizard.
As a result of the laicizations, the three men may no longer function in any capacity as priests.
According to a Diocese of Worcester press release, the decisions were reached by late 2012. Formal announcement waited until the period for any individual appeals was concluded.
Blizard was removed from ministry in 1988 by Bishop Timothy Harrington following the determination of credible allegations of abuse, having occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.
He was ordained in 1974 and served at St. Roch, Oxford; Our Lady Immaculate, Athol; Christ the King, Worcester; Holy Angels, Upton. He was in residence at various parishes while assigned to the Catholic School Department from 1983 – 1988.
Kane was ordained in 1969 and then removed from ministry in 1993 by Bishop Timothy Harrington after credible allegations of abuse in the 1970s came to light. He has not had faculties to serve in priestly ministry since 1993.
Kane was a resident in various parishes including St. Mary in Uxbridge and St. Joan of Arc in Worcester, followed by assignment to the House of Affirmation in Whitinsville while continuing advance studies in psychology. He served as an associate pastor at Sacred Heart in Gardner beginning in 1992 when he was placed on leave.
Shauris was ordained in 1974 and then removed from ministry in 1995 by Bishop Daniel Reilly, after credible allegations of inappropriate behavior in the 1990s and subsequent credible allegations of abuse dating to the 1970s and 1980s. Shauris has not had faculties to serve in priestly ministry since then.
Shauris served as an associate at St. Mary in Uxbridge and was in residence at Immaculate Conception and St. Anthony of Padua in Fitchburg, and Our Lady of Fatima in Worcester, during teaching assignments at St. Bernard Central Catholic High School (CCHS), St. Peter-Marian CCHS and Anna Maria College.