Judge says abused former altar boys can sue bishop

Boston Herald

March 30, 2018

By Bob McGovern

Former altar boys who claim they were molested by a priest years ago are allowed to sue the bishop they say failed in supervising him, according to a recent court ruling.

Paul Andrews and Daniel Sherwood are suing the Rev. Daniel Cronin, the former bishop of the Fall River Archdiocese. They argue that he was negligent in supervising and retaining the services of Maurice Souza — a now-deceased priest who they say sexually molested them when they would go on out-of-state trips in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Judge Maynard A. Kirpalani ruled that the case could go on, despite a pitch from Cronin’s attorneys to toss the suit.

“While the case is certainly slim, genuine issues of material fact do remain,” Kirpalani wrote earlier this month. “In particular, an issue remains about whether Cronin, who was in charge of the diocese and had the power to remove Souza, should have known that one of his priests spent significant time away from the parish … on extended road-trips with adolescent boys.”

Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney representing Andrew and Sherwood, said it was a huge decision for his clients.

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