North Reading pastor placed on administrative leave ...

By Jacqueline Tempera
February 8, 2015

North Reading pastor placed on administrative leave following allegation of abusing a minor

A North Reading priest was placed on administrative leave after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused a minor in the late 1970s, the Archdiocese of Boston disclosed Sunday.

The Rev. Thomas M. Gillespie, pastor of St. Theresa of Lisieux Parish in North Reading, was placed on leave until further notice, spokesman Terrence Donilon said in a statement.

When the Archdiocese received a complaint about Gillespie, church officials immediately notified police who launched an investigation, Donilon said.

Gillespie will remain on leave without public ministry, meaning he can not perform public masses, pending the outcome of that investigation.

“The decision to place Fr. Gillespie on administrative leave represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the welfare of all parties, and does not represent a determination of Fr. Gillespie’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation,” Donilon wrote in the statement.

Gillespie did not respond to email messages requesting a comment. Donilon said it was “not going to be possible” for the pastor to speak to a reporter.

The Archdiocese will continue to make counseling and other services available to survivors and families affected by clergy sexual abuse and allegations of abuse by clergy members, Donilon said.



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