Falmouth Priest Father Joseph F. Byrne Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child

Archdiocese of Boston places Rev. Joseph F. Byrne on administrative leave of absence.

The Archdiocese of Boston announced today that it has placed Rev. Joseph F. Byrne, a Senior Priest with limited ministry in parishes in Falmouth, on an administrative leave of absence as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child.

Father Byrne is a retired priest living on the Cape.  He is listed on the website of St. Patrick's Church in Falmouth as a retired priest who serves that parish.

The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have occurred in the early-1970s and was only recently reported to the Archdiocese, according to a press release from the Archdiocese of Boston.

While St. Patrick's is part of the Fall River Diocese, Fr. Byrne served as a priest in the Boston Archdiocese before he retired. Here is a list of the parishes where he served: 1969-1975, St. Matthew, Dorchester; 1975-1985, St. John the Baptist, Quincy; 1985-1994, St. Albert the Great, Weymouth and 1994-2002, Our Lady Comforter of Afflicted, Waltham.

"The Archdiocese immediately notified law enforcement of the allegation and has initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint. 

"Fr. Byrne will remain on administrative leave without any public ministry pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation," stated the release.

“We remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions,” stated Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley. “I know the faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese join me in this pledge of prayerful support.”

"The decision to place Fr. Byrne on administrative leave represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the welfare of all parties and does not represent a determination of Fr. Byrne’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation.  The Archdiocese will work to resolve this case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties," stated the press release.

 Through its Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, the Archdiocese continues to make counseling and other services available to survivors, their families and parishes impacted by clergy sexual abuse and by allegations of abuse by members of the clergy. Cardinal Seán encourages any person in need of pastoral assistance or support to contact the Archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach by calling (781) 794-2581.


Judy Jones May 25, 2012 at 05:38 PM
This victim is extremely brave for coming forward to expose the truth about being abused..That is not an easy thing to do. It is rare that a child predator has only one victim, so we hope that anyone who has been harmed by Joseph F. Byrne will contact a therapist, a support group or the police. That is the best way to expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing. Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511 snapjudy@gmail.com (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org).
Chris Collins May 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM
My prayers go out to the alleged victim, and especially Fr.Byrne. Regardless of the findings on this, I'll remain non judgemental and supportive of a man that served the parish which I belonged to, and served as an altar boy for,and served well. God bless all involved...from Chris
Tony Falco May 30, 2012 at 07:14 PM
For what it's worth, I was an Alter boy for Father Joe for SEVERAL years in the mid to late 1980's. Never was there a time I was uncomfortable around him. Never. -Tony


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