Church defrocks former St. Peter-Marian headmaster named in sex-abuse suit

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

January 25, 2018

By Mark Sullivan

A Catholic priest named in one of the Worcester Diocese’s largest sex-abuse settlements has been laicized, or defrocked, the diocese announced Thursday.

Peter J. Inzerillo, at his own request, was “dispensed from the clerical state” by Pope Francis, the diocese said. As a result, Mr. Inzerillo “may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as ‘Father.’ ”

The former Rev. Inzerillo was headmaster at St. Peter-Marian High School in Worcester from 1979 to 1985 and coached hockey there and at St. Bernard’s in Fitchburg.

He was vocations director for the Worcester Diocese in 1985 when he allegedly sexually assaulted a 19-year-old from Spencer who was considering entering the seminary.

The younger man, Edward Gagne, said he disclosed during counseling sessions with the vocations director that he had been abused before, as a 13-year-old altar boy, by another priest – and he alleged that Rev. Inzerillo then abused him in turn.

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