Five Priests Barred from Parish Work

Associated Press, carried in the Daily Hampshire Gazette
July 31, 2002

SPRINGFIELD (AP) - Bishop Thomas Dupre has imposed further restrictions on five priests, including the Rev. Edward M. Kennedy, who had been barred from parish work in the 1990s under the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese's sexual misconduc policy.

Dupre said that he has banned the five from any work as priests in accordance with zero-tolerance guidelines recently approved by U.S. bishops.

The bishop confirmed the names of four of the priests, but declined to identify the fifth.

The four are Kennedy, Richard F. Meehan, Alfred C. Graves and Donald V. Dube.

Kennedy and Meehan had resumed limited duties, living and working as chaplains at the church-run Providence Place retirement home in Holyoke. The other priests had not been doing any church work, Dupre said.

Kennedy had been treated in a church-run psychiatric center following his resignation as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Northampton in 1991, the newspaper said. Meehan had also undergone psychiatric treatment after being removed from his parish duties in Agawam eight years ago, according to his lawyer, Daniel Kelly.

The diocese established a misconduct commission composed of lay people a decade ago following an earlier child-abuse scandal.


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