BOSTON (AP) - The sexual abuse scandal facing the Roman
Catholic church in Boston reached into the chancery Thursday when
a man sued the former vice chancellor for an incident that
occurred two decades ago, according to a broadcast report.
In a suit filed in Suffolk Superior Court, the alleged victim
accuses Monsignor Frederick J. Ryan of sexually abusing him in the
early 1980s when he was a freshman and sophomore at Catholic
Memorial High School, according to WHDH-TV Channel 7. Ryan was
also the school chaplain at the time.
The accusation follows the removal of a Catholic priest and
state police chaplain after he admitted molesting an altar boy
more than two decades ago.
Ryan is now pastor of St. Joseph's Parish in Kingston, and head
of the Plymouth Vicariate, which includes 16 parishes.
A call to the parish rectory Thursday was not immediately
The archdiocese, which had not yet seen the lawsuit, had been
unable to reach Ryan or the alleged victim regarding the
accusation as of Thursday evening, spokeswoman Donna Morrissey
Garry Garland contends that in the early 1980s Ryan took nude
photographs of him and performed oral sex on him, according to the
Garland said in the suit that Ryan blackmailed him into staying
silent by claiming that former Cardinal Humberto Medieros approved
of the photographs.
Ryan was recently in a Las Vegas treatment center for
depression and alcoholism, the station reported. The archdiocese
could not confirm the report, Morrissey said.
A message left with Garland's lawyer was not immediately
Ryan becomes the highest-ranking archdiocese official to be
accused of sexual abuse. The scandal, which has spread to other
dioceses across the country, broke after documents were released
showing Rev. John Geoghan had been moved from parish to parish
following accusations of sexual abuse.
Geoghan has been accused of abusing more than 130 children, and
is serving a nine- to-10 year prison sentence for abuse.
On Wednesday, the Rev. Gerard F. Walsh was removed from his
Worcester Diocese parish and his duties as state police chaplain
after admitting he molested an altar boy more than two decades
ago. He acknowledged in a letter that he sexually abused a youth
when he was assigned to a Leominster church.
Walsh has been state police chaplain, a voluntary position,
since the mid-1980s. He officiated at the second inauguration of
William Weld as governor in 1995.
Walsh's accuser, Thomas E. Bedard, of Leominster, told the
Boston Herald the abuse began in the late 1970s while Bedard was
an altar boy at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Leominster.
Bedard said he decided to confront Walsh last month after
hearing accounts of problem priests in the Boston and Worcester
Last week, during a 45-minute conversation, Walsh first denied,
then admitted to the abuse, Bedard said.
Bedard said he demanded and received a letter of apology from
Walsh. Walsh gave a copy of the letter to state police
investigators in Worcester on Monday. The same day, Walsh was
dismissed from his police chaplaincy.
The Worcester Diocese Bishop Daniel P. Reilly issued a
statement late Wednesday saying Walsh had been placed on leave
from his post at St. Roch's Parish in Oxford.
"Due to an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor in the
late 1970s, I have placed Fr. Gerard P. Walsh on administrative
leave from his duties as pastor," the statement said.
Bedard, now a 37-year-old engineer and father of four, told the
Herald Walsh showed him sexually graphic material, asked him to
open his shirt and pants, and grabbed his genitals on several
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"I want this to be a wakeup call to the Diocese of Worcester,"
Bedard told the Herald. "In my view, they have not been taking
this scandal seriously enough."