New Claims of Abuse Detailed in Documents

Providence Journal-Bulletin (Rhode Island)
December 19, 2002

* One priest in the Boston area had sex repeatedly with a teenage boy but said he "didn't realize it was so harmful."

BOSTON (AP) - A priest who was removed from parish duties after admitting to a sexual relationship with a teenager at his Marlboro parish was reassigned to work at hospitals and nursing homes, according to church documents released yesterday.

The Rev. Paul Tivnan worked at seven different parishes in Greater Boston from 1963 to 1985, when he was placed on sick leave following an allegation that he repeatedly molested a 15-year-old boy in 1978 while working at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Marlboro.

Church documents reveal that Father Tivnan, now 66, had a relationship with the boy lasting a period of months, during which they had sex twice a week. The priest admitted the relationship, but said that he "didn't realize it was so harmful," according to the documents.

Father Tivnan's case was outlined in the latest batch of personnel files to be released by lawyers suing the Boston Archdiocese over its handling of child-molesting priests.

Archdiocesan officials quickly removed Father Tivnan from parish service once the allegation came to light, sending him to a six-month treatment center and banning him from future parish service.

Instead, he was assigned to nursing homes and hospitals.

Father Tivnan was ordered repeatedly to stay away from minors, yet in May 2001, he admitted presiding over a teen Mass at St. Florence, in Wakefield, where one girl's father complained to church officials that he slapped the girl for talking to her friends.

Father Tivnan admitted his attendance at the Mass was inappropriate, but he denied slapping the girl, according to the church documents.

The documents released yesterday also showed allegations that the Rev. Peter Kanchong molested two young girls and a boy at St. Margaret's Church, in Boston's Dorchester section. The archdiocese attempted to return Father Kanchong to his native Thailand after the allegations surfaced, and he left the priesthood.


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