Scituate Priest Denied Relationship with Teenboy
Church Officials Sided with Pastor, Decided Allegations Could Not Be Substantiated
Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA)
February 26, 2003
BOSTON - The letters began with an affectionate greeting, "Dear Brown Eyes," and contained proclamations of love and what appeared to be references to intimate moments.
But years later, when the Rev. Richard McQuade of Scituate denied having a sexual relationship with a teenage boy, church officials decided the allegations could not be substantiated.
They allowed him to work as part of a group of priests used when regularly assigned priests were unavailable. They also advised that he receive psychotherapy.
"In your situation, the Review Board and the Delegate have decided that there is no reasonable probability that sexual misconduct occurred," Cardinal Bernard Law wrote in a 1996 letter to the Rev. McQuade.
The accusation was brought in 1996 by the father of a man who allegedly had a relationship with the Rev. McQuade beginning when he was a teenage parishioner at St. Mark Church in Dorchester.
After the man was killed in a car accident on his way to the Rev. McQuade's home in Scituate in 1992, his father showed archdiocese officials more than 30 letters the priest allegedly wrote to his son in 1982 and 1983, when the son was a student at St. John Seminary College.
The Rev. McQuade said he and the young man were "very good friends" and "emotionally involved at times," but denied having a sexual relationship.
He was pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Whitman from 1987 until 1990. He had also served at St. Clare Church in Braintree and St. John the Evangelist Church in Canton.
The Rev. McQuade's personnel file was made public Monday by lawyers who are suing the archdiocese on behalf of people who claim priests sexually abused them.
The Rev. Christopher Coyne, an archdiocese spokesman, said the Rev. McQuade, now 72, has been ill in recent years and has not participated in active ministry. He would not comment on the allegation against him.
Two other priests who served at Holy Ghost have been named in the sex abuse scandal.
The Rev. Robert A. Ward, who served briefly as pastor in 1999, was accused last year of molesting an altar boy in Boston in the 1970s.
The Rev. Ward was assigned to Whitman following months of treatment for cocaine addiction. Within two weeks of his arrival, he resigned' after allegedly downloading pornographic material from the Internet.
According to files the Boston Archdiocese released, the Rev. Peter Frost, who served at Holy Ghost from 1970 until he was placed on sick leave in 1974, admitted to sexually abusing boys. He allegedly told church officials that one of the boys committed suicide.
Described in archdiocese documents as a recovering alcoholic, the Rev. Frost was removed from active ministry in 1992.
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