Parishioners seek answers after monsignor is removed over sexual abuse allegations

October 26, 2019

[with video]

Parishioners at a Framingham Catholic church attended their first Mass since learning their longtime pastor has been removed due to sexual abuse allegations.

The Rev. Monsignor Francis V. Strahan, who was pastor of St. Bridget Parish, was placed on administrative officials by the Archdiocese of Boston after he was accused of sexually abusing a child. He will not be allowed to have any public ministry during the leave, according to the archdiocese.

"It's certainly a confusing time for all of us," said parishioner Gerard Kelly. "I would say to the church, as a parishioner: 'Shame on you. We deserve to know more. We deserve to know more of the facts.' With regards to whether I believe the accusations or not, I don't know enough.

"The single greatest thing they could have done for us, as parishioners, to find closure, would be allow us to say goodbye."

Strahan, 86, celebrated his 60th year as a priest earlier this year, including his 36th at St. Bridget. He would frequently celebrate Mass with students from St. Bridget School, a K-8 Catholic educational institution.

"They were going to close the school and the church was at risk, and he saved it," said parishioner Maryanne McCarthy. "So, I mean, we owe him a lot."

In addition to being the pastor of a church, Strahan is the vicar of the Framingham Vicariate, a collection of parishes within the archdiocese.

Archdiocese officials said they had informed law enforcement about the allegations.

No charges have been filed at this time, according to the district attorney's office, but officials said they were working with the Framingham Police Department to investigate the allegation.


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