Church Apologizes for Bulletin Priest ‘ad’
By Richard Weir
March 30, 2012
Victim rights advocates are blasting the pastor of a Boston Catholic church for placing a blurb in a Sunday bulletin asking for donations to support a parish priest suspended last year over child sex abuse allegations.
“It is callous and risky and hurtful to publicly raise funds using church resources for an accused child molester,” said David Clohessy, head of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.
“If anything, there should be a plea placed in the parish bulletin asking for anyone who may have seen or suspected or suffered his crimes to call police and get help.”
Msgr. Frank Kelly, whom the Boston Archdiocese called an “outstanding pastor,” issued an apology, saying: “I wish to express my apology to all impacted by this action. I now recognize that this announcement was not an appropriate use of the parish bulletin. I offer my personal assurance that such announcements will not be permitted going forward.”
Clohessy and other critics at a press conference outside Sacred Heart Church in Roslindale said Kelley’s March 18 solicitation of his flock on behalf of the Rev. John Mendicoa could have a “chilling effect” on other potential victims, discouraging them from coming forward.
The archdiocese, which placed Mendicoa, 69, a parochial vicar at Sacred Heart, on administrative leave in August after “receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child” from the 1980s, said it had not “sponsored or sanctioned” the fundraising effort. Its investigation is ongoing.