Saturday, February 24, 2007

Vatican Dismisses Boston Area Priest (Vatican/Boston)

The Vatican has barred a former Boston archdiocese priest accused of sexual abuse from all benefits and activities associated with the priesthood with the exception of offering last rites to the dying.

George J. Rosenkranz, 70, has been restricted from public ministry since 1989 because of multiple allegations of sexual abuse of minors, according to a statement released Friday by the archdiocese.

The Vatican's decision to dismiss Rosenkranz from "the clerical state" means he will be barred from receiving any financial support from the archdiocese and cannot function as a priest except to offer deathbed absolution.

Between 1962 and 1989, Rosenkranz was a priest at churches and schools in Canton, Marblehead, Chelsea, West Newbury, Saugus, Beverly, North Reading and Salem, according Kelly Lynch, a spokeswoman from a public relation firm engaged by the archdiocese.

During that time, Rosenkranz was arrested on lewd behavior charges at least twice — in a mall restroom in 1981 and in a highway parking lot in highway parking lot in 1989.

Former Boston archdiocese leader Cardinal Bernard Law placed Rosenkranz on sick leave in 1989, but the former priest sought to return to active ministry in 1993.

The request was denied.



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