Accused Molester Dismissed from Priesthood

By Mike Stucka
Salem News [Massachusetts]
February 24, 2007

A priest accused of sexually abusing Marblehead altar boys was formally kicked out of the priesthood by the Vatican, the Boston Archdiocese said yesterday.

George J. Rosenkranz, 70, has been restricted from public ministry since 1989 because of multiple allegations of sexual abuse of minors, according to a statement released yesterday by the archdiocese. The Vatican's decision to dismiss Rosenkranz from "the clerical state" means he will be barred from receiving any financial support from the archdiocese and cannot function as a priest except to offer deathbed absolution.

A federal worker, Peter Pollard, raised allegations in 1988 against Rosenkranz, saying he was abused by Rosenkranz at Marblehead's Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, where Rosenkranz worked as an assistant pastor from February 1965 to June 1970. Rosenkranz went on to work elsewhere in the area, including the Cardinal Cushing Academy in West Newbury from March 1971 to March 1972, St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Beverly from June 1984 to February 1985 and St. Joseph Church in Salem from February 1986 to December 1989, according to research by archdiocese spokeswoman Kelly Lynch.

Rosenkranz was barred from public ministry in 1989. He asked to be reinstated in 1993 but was rejected. He was placed on sick leave in December 1989, which ended his term in Salem.

Pollard, who said Marblehead's pastor saw but ignored signs of abuse, was represented in a lawsuit by Jeffrey Newman of Marblehead.

In a statement, Cardinal Sean O'Malley said the announcement last might bring more pain to people who were abused.

"I again apologize for the suffering endured as a result of these tragic violations of innocence and trust," O'Malley said in a statement.


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