MA- Boston area priest removed, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, February 4
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Fr. Joseph Byrne, a Boston area priest, has been suspended. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Fr. Byrne has been removed. Now is not the time for complacency.
Byrne was removed in 2012 after claims of sexual abuse came forward. He was only reinstated in May of last year, apparently after a review board found allegations against him unsubstantiated. His removal again is a perfect example of why the Catholic Church – or any other institution- cannot be responsible for policing itself. Fr. Byrne was also put on probation for theft in 2005.
It’s time the church stop protecting criminals and reputations and start protecting victims.
We hope Fr. Byrne’s suspension will give courage to victims to come forward and report abuse, to secular authorities.