Former Fire Department Chaplain Removed from Ministry Four Years Ago

March 10, 2006

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. A Catholic priest who once was chaplain of the Springfield Fire Department was permanently removed from ministry four years ago because of a sexual abuse allegation.

The Springfield Diocese says the Reverend David Farland was removed from the ministry in 2002 after U-S bishops approved a zero tolerance policy regarding clergy sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese said Farland was accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the early 1990s, and the matter was handled internally by his superiors.

The diocese provided the information yesterday after an inquiry by The Republican earlier this week.

Farland, who first began working as a Fire Department chaplain in the 1970s, continued his work as a chaplain after the allegation was deemed credible, and he underwent counseling. Fire Department spokesman Dennis Leger said the department was unaware of the allegation against Farland.


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