Boston-Area Priest Accused of Abuse Defrocked

By William Oddie
Boston Channel
July 20, 2011

BOSTON -- The Vatican has defrocked a Boston-area priest who was accused of sexually abusing a minor during the early 1970s.

The Boston Archdiocese announced Tuesday that William Walsh had been removed from the priesthood by the Vatican. He can no longer serve as priest in any capacity, except to offer absolution to the dying.

Walsh was ordained in 1971 and placed on administrative leave in 2004, after the allegation of sex abuse. Walsh was serving as parochial vicar of St. Mary the Annunciation in Danvers when his leave began, but the alleged abuse occurred before that assignment. No further details about the allegation were immediately known.

According to archdiocese files, Walsh had twice been cleared of abuse allegations dating to 1980.

Walsh had sought, through a voluntary process, to be removed from the clerical state.

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