Priest Defrocked after Rape Conviction

Standard-Times [Boston MA]
January 26, 2007

A Roman Catholic priest who's in prison for raping a teenage boy in the 1980s has been defrocked by the Vatican, the Boston Archdiocese said yesterday.

Paul William Hurley, of Sandwich, can no longer perform public ministry, except for offering absolution to the dying, and will not receive financial support from the archdiocese, the archdiocese said in a statement.

Hurley was placed on administrative leave in 2001 after the allegation of sexual misconduct. He was convicted in June of repeatedly raping a 15-year-old South Boston boy in 1987 and 1988 in the rectory of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Cambridge, where Hurley was assigned.

Hurley was sentenced in July to four years in prison.

Church law requires that priests be permanently removed from ministry if an act of sexual abuse of a minor is admitted or proven through a church investigation.

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said in a statement that he knew the announcement about Hurley "may bring renewed grief and pain" to those who've been abused by priests.

"I again apologize for the suffering you and your families have endured," O'Malley said. "I remain committed to providing support for counseling and pastoral care to all who have been harmed by clergy sexual abuse."


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