Lancaster Priest Edward Lettic Faces Sexual Abuse Allegation, Is Placed on Leave by Diocese of Worcester
By Megan Bard
January 27, 2014
|The Rev. Edward P. Lettic has been put on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual abuse of a child, which is alleged to have occurred 40 years ago, according to The Diocese of Worcester. |
The Diocese of Worcester has placed a long-term priest on administrative leave after a 40-year-old "credible allegation of sexual misconduct" was lodged against him recently, according to the bishop.
During Mass on Sunday at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Lancaster, Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus told parishioners that he has relieved Rev. Edward P. Lettic of his pastoral duties while the church investigates the allegations.
This is the first and only such allegation made against Lettic, McManus said in a news release.
"Because of the serious nature of the allegation, and consistent with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, I must relieve Father Lettic of his duties as pastor of the parish and remove his faculties as a priest,” McManus told parishioners in Lancaster on Sunday.
McManus will appoint a temporary administrator to oversee the parish until a new pastor is named.
Lettic was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Worcester in 1973 and was named pastor of Immaculate Conception in Lancaster in 1993. Prior to that, Lettic served as an associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc in Worcester, at St. Denis in East Douglas, and St. Joseph in Auburn. He also served as a chaplain at the Westborough State Hospital.
"As your bishop, I have a serious pastoral responsibility for the spiritual care and wellbeing of this family," McManus told the parish as one of the reason's for his visit to the church on Sunday.
"My fervent hope and prayer is that, relying on each other’s support and on God’s grace, we will work together to continue to make Immaculate Conception Parish a strong and vibrant community of faith, hope and love," he said.
The Worcester district attorney's office is reviewing the allegation.
According to the diocese, McManus has sent a report about the allegation to the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, as per the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. If Lettic is found guilty of the allegation, the results of the canonical process could require that he be removed from the clerical state or sanctioned such as a life of prayer and penance.