Priest Accused in Tryst Scheme
The Rev. Guthrie Served in Weymouth

Patriot Ledger [Quincy MA]
November 8, 2001

A Roman Catholic priest accused of setting up a tryst with undercover police officer posing as a 15-year-old boy served in Weymouth's Immaculate Conception parish during the early 1970s.

The Rev. Frederick L. Guthrie, 65, was released on $2,500 bail Tuesday night after police arrested him outside a boarded-up ice cream stand in Nashua, N.H. An undercover police officer posing as a youth set up the meeting, police said.

The Rev. Guthrie has been on health leave since July 1. His last assignment was as pastor of St. Ann's parish in Gloucester, according to a statement from the Boston Archdiocese.

"To our knowledge this is the only such accusation that has been made against Father Guthrie," the Rev. Charles Higgins, secretary for ministerial personnel, said in the statement.

The archdiocese was prepared to cooperate with authorities, the Rev. Higgins said.

The Rev. Guthrie is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 21 in Nashua District Court on a charge of prohibited computer use.

An article in The Patriot Ledger in 1971 notes a community service award given to the Rev. Guthrie for his work with the town's youth.

The Weymouth Jaycees recognized him for being one of the founders of a now-defunct program called Weymouth Youth and Home. He was director of the youth-oriented Immaculate Conception Parish Center.

The Rev. Guthrie is reported to be a Medford native who graduated from Malden Catholic High School and St. John's Seminary in Brighton.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese, Donna Morrissey, could not immediately provide details about the Rev. Guthrie's assignment in Weymouth. A woman who answered the phone at the Immaculate Conception rectory referred all calls to Morrissey.

In 1962, the the Rev. Guthrie, newly ordained, was assigned as an assistant priest at St. Susanna Parish in Dedham.

He was also pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Salem for 10 years.

Richard Ives, president of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem, called the charges "quite disturbing and surprising."


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