Vatican Dismisses 2 Boston-Area Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

Associated Press, carried in Boston Herald
March 23, 2007

Boston — The Vatican has dismissed two former Boston archdiocese priests who have been convicted of or face charges of sexually abusing children.

Anthony J. Laurano, 82, of Hull, and W. James Nyhan, 61, of Billerica, were cut off Thursday from receiving any financial support from the archdiocese and may no longer function as priests except to offer absolution for dying persons, the archdiocese said in a prepared statement.

"For those who have been sexually abused by members of the clergy, I sincerely apologize for the suffering you and your families have endured," Cardinal Sean O'Malley said in the statement. "Sexual crimes perpetrated against children or vulnerable adults by priests are shameful and grievous."

Laurano was indicted last year on charges of molesting a mentally retarded boy who lived near him. At the time, Laurano already faced charges that he raped an 8-year-old boy 16 years ago while he was a pastor at St. Mary's Church in Plymouth. Laurano pleaded innocent to the charges.

Nyhan pleaded guilty last spring in Charleston, S.C., to charges of sexually assaulting two boys while he worked at a church there 25 years ago. The Boston archdiocese suspended Nyhan in June 2002 after a Quincy man said Nyhan molested him repeatedly in the 1970s. Another man wrote to the archdiocese in 2002, saying he complained to the archdiocese in 1997 that Nyhan had molested him, but his complaint was ignored.

Church personnel records made public in 2002 showed that church officials had returned Nyhan to parish work after he denied a 1994 allegation made by a South Carolina boy who said Nyhan had abused him in 1979-80, the years he served in the Diocese of Charleston.

There was no answer Thursday at a telephone listing for Laurano. A telephone listing could not immediately be found for Nyhan.


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