Fall River Diocese puts 2 priests accused of misconduct on leave

NBC 10 News
November 3, 2019

St. Joseph- St. Therese Parish in New Bedford. (WJAR)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WJAR) — Two priests were put on administrative leave from the ministry pending an investigation of alleged misconduct from decades ago, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River.

The diocese identified the priests as the Rev. Richard Degagne, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Easton, and the Rev. Daniel Lacroix, co-pastor of St. Joseph- St. Therese, St. Mary, and Our Lady of Fatima parishes in New Bedford.

Officials said the alleged misconduct of Degagne dates back to before he was a priest.

Parishioners were informed of the allegations in a letter from Bisop Edgar da Cunha which was read at all weekend Masses.

"Nothing is more important than the welfare of survivors, children and our community at-large," said da Cunha. "We have pledged to handle all matters of abuse in a pastoral and professional way and have implemented many new reforms since 2017. I continue to pray for anyone who has been affected by the scourge of sexual abuse."

Both priests have denied the allegations.

The diocese said anyone with information or concerns can call the diocese's Office of Safe Environment at 508-985-6508, or the district attorneys for Bristol County or the Cape & Islands.












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