Priest Removed From Duty
Pastor Served In Uxbridge Last 6 Years
November 20, 2006

Worcester, Mass. -- The pastor of a Roman Catholic church in Uxbridge has been suspended by the Worcester Diocese after telling the bishop last week that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor more than 30 years ago before his ordination.

The Rev. Paul J. Doherty, who was ordained in 1995, was placed on administrative leave after telling Bishop Robert J. McManus about the incident during a meeting on Friday requested by Doherty.

Doherty, 58, was an associate pastor at St. Patrick church in Whitinsville and St. Mary's in Shrewsbury before being named pastor of St. Mary's in Uxbridge six years ago.

McManus attended four Masses over the weekend to inform parishioners of the decision.

"Because of the serious nature of this admission, I had to relieve (Doherty) of his duties as pastor of the parish and to remove his faculties as priest," McManus said in a statement read to parishioners.

The diocese has informed law enforcement authorities, Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte told the Telegram and Gazette of Worcester.

"But we don't have any information, and no victim," Conte said.

The church has also informed the Vatican and is moving to strip Doherty of his powers as a priest permanently, diocese spokesman Raymond Delisle said.

No one has come forward to complain about Doherty, Delisle said.

Some people openly sobbed upon hearing the news, parishioner Sheryl A. Klei said.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.