Diocese of Fall River suspends retired priest for alleged sexual abuse of minor

Boston Globe

January 26, 2020

By Abigail Feldman

The Diocese of Fall River announced Sunday that it had suspended a retired priest after a review of his files revealed allegations that he had sexually abused a minor about 20 years ago.

Father Herbert T. Nichols, who has worked in several parishes around Bristol and Barnstable counties since he was ordained in 1975, denies the allegation, according to a statement from the Diocese.

Nichols retired in 2015 but has continued to participate in Masses around the area and within the Diocese’ Maronite community. His suspension precludes him from all ministry until the investigation is complete, the statement said.

Last year, the Diocese hired an independent consultant to review personnel files, officials said. Since last March, the diocese has suspended or removed at least five priests for alleged abuse or misconduct, including two retired priests earlier this month.

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