Archdiocese Admits It Welcomed Abusive Irish Priests, Including One in Waltham

Daily News Tribune
January 27, 2010

WALTHAM — Two child sex abuse victims and two experts on the clergy sex abuse crisis - who run Waltham-based - will be outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 1400 Washington St., Boston, today at 1 p.m. to discuss a WBUR news report this morning that revealed that the Boston archdiocese admitted that it allowed Ireland’s most notorious pedophile priest, Rev. Brendan Smyth, to work in the Boston area.

It also allowed Rev. Joseph Maguire, a convicted sexual offender who died in a New Hampshire prison in 2005, to live in Walthan.

After working in the US, Smyth was brought back to Ireland and convicted in the 1990s of child sex crimes. In his 40-year priesthood, he reportedly raped and abused hundreds of boys and girls in both Ireland and the US. Mishandling of his case essentially brought down the Irish government in 1994.

The archdiocese further admitted yesterday that at least three other accused Irish priests have worked in the state. They refused to name one of the priests, saying his case is still active, but they did identify two priests who are on’s list of Irish priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct. These priests are Rev. Maguire and Rev. Dennis Murphy.

This is the first time the archdiocesan hierarchy has admitted that child-molesting clerics from Ireland were accepted into the archdiocese, and raises the obvious and troubling question of how many other Irish offenders have been brought to the US by American bishops.

Maguire raped and molested at least a dozen boys in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He spent much of his active priesthood in the Manchester, N.H., diocese. However, according to past news reports, Maguire also lived at the Stigmatine Fatrhers facility on Lexington Street in Waltham, and later in an apartment in Dennis. Today, for the first time, the archdiocese admitted to ‘granting faculties’ to Maguire, which means he was given official approval by the archbishop to work and live in the Boston area.

Murphy was placed on administrative leave in 2004 by the Richmond VA diocese while it investigated complaints of questionable behavior with teenagers. Although it is not known when the archdiocese gave him approval to work here, he reportedly was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School in 1997-98.

The archdiocese disclosed the information yesterday one month after launched the first-ever public database of Irish priests accused of sexual abuse who worked in US dioceses.


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