Church Releases More Priest Files
Two of Them Served at S. Shore Parishes
By Dina Gerdeman
Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA)
December 20, 2002
A nephew of the Rev. Gerald Hickey claims his uncle fondled him when he was as young as 2, according to church documents.
The personnel records of several priests accused of sexual abuse were made public by the Boston Archdiocese yesterday. Among them were two priests who worked in South Shore parishes.
The allegation about the Rev. Hickey arose in 1992 while he was working at St. Bridget's parish in Abington.
The nephew, Joseph Hickey, wrote to Cardinal Bernard Law in 1992, accusing the Rev. Hickey of molesting him in the restroom of a church in Detroit.
When the boy began crying, the Rev. Hickey hit him across the face, the nephew claimed.
Joseph Hickey said the Rev. Hickey also sexually abused him when he was 4 and 5 years old, and again when he was 13.
The Rev. Hickey, now age 65 and living in Scituate, worked at St. Elizabeth's parish in Milton from August 1975 to September 1976, and was assigned to St. Bridget's in Abington in 1987.
In 1989, complaints surfaced that the Rev. Hickey drank too much. It was reported that at times he was shaking during Mass and could not give out Communion. He was evaluated for alcohol abuse and was asked to stop drinking. He later told church officials he stopped.
After Joseph Hickey made the sexual abuse allegations, the archdiocese agreed to pay for two years of therapy. The case was dropped, apparently when the law firm representing Joseph Hickey, Eckert Seamans, would no longer work for Hickey on a contingency basis.
A second nephew, Daniel Hickey, also claims the Rev. Hickey abused him and reported the allegations to the church earlier this year.
The Hickeys claimed their memories of abuse were repressed for several years, but they recalled them during therapy later in life.
Church documents show the Rev. Hickey denied Joseph Hickey's accusations. The archdiocese placed him on sick leave, and in 1993 it was recommended that he should not be in the company of people 16 and younger. He later was asked to resign his parish assignment, which he agreed to do in April 1994.
A couple years later, he received letters from the church encouraging him to take steps to return to parish ministry, and in 1998 Law agreed to allow him back, citing the singularity of the charge and the lack of evidence Hickey had any attraction to children.
"Gerry, I am grateful this day has come," Cardinal Law wrote to the Rev. Hickey in December 1998. "You have endured a great ordeal because of this allegation."
The Rev. Hickey assisted at St. Helen Church in Norwell for several years, but he was removed from that position in February.
Another priest, the Rev. Jay Mullin, who worked at St. Joseph the Worker parish in Hanson from 1983 to 1992, is accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a teenager while working at St. Anthony's parish in Allston in 1970.
The unidentified accuser told church officials in 1992 that the Rev. Mullin befriended him and arranged for him to work at the rectory. The alleged victim said when he was as young as 12, the Rev. Mullin began abusing him. On one occasion, the man said he fell asleep in the Rev. Mullin's car and awoke to find the Rev. Mullin rubbing his crotch. The Rev. Mullin then pulled into a rest area and performed oral sex on him.
The man also said the Rev. Mullin claimed to love him and made him the beneficiary of his life insurance policy.
One priest stationed with the Rev. Mullin told him he was too close to the young boy, church documents show.
He was placed on sick leave in late 1992 and sent to a treatment facility in Canada. And in 1993, it was recommended that he not be placed in any ministry where he would have contact with minors.
Church records indicate that the Archdiocese and the Rev. Mullin collectively agreed to pay $60,000 to settle the claim in 1996. The Rev. Mullin contributed $10,000 of that money, records show.
Cardinal Law agreed in 1998 that the Rev. Mullin, who was involved in music ministry at St. Ann's in Wayland, could return to parish ministry. He was assigned as a parochial vicar to St. Ann's. In an announcement to members of the parish, it was explained that he had not been acting as a priest because "his health would not permit him to carry the more demanding schedule of parish life."
The Rev. Mullin, now 62, was later reassigned to other parishes, but in 2001, his assignments were terminated. He is now listed as unassigned.
Other priests whose records were released by the archdiocese yesterday include: The Rev. Paul J. Tivnan, whose records show that in 1985 he admitted to molesting a 15-year-old boy in 1978, when he was a priest at Immaculate Conception Church in Marlborough. After the admission, chuch officials placed the Rev. Tivnan on sick leave for more than a year and later allowed him to serve as a chaplain at hospitals and nursing homes until 1996. The Rev. Philip C. Breton, whose file shows that he was suspended three times in 1950, 1951, and again in 1957 - and returned to ministry despite allegations that he molested boys at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire who, according to the records, were less than 10 years of age. The Rev. Anthony J. Rebeiro, who in August was removed from his assignment as chaplain at Quigley Memorial Hospital and the Soldiers Home in Chelsea because of an allegation of abuse against a 12- or 13-year-old girl that occurred nearly 30 years ago in Natick. Ribeiro also served in Holbrook, but no abuse allegations were filed against him there, according to records.
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