Church clears former Hingham priest of sex abuse claim

The Patriot-Ledger, Massachusetts/November 17, 2011

Braintree -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced that a church court has cleared a former Hingham priest of allegations he molested a 15-year-old boy at a Wilmington church in 1979.

In a statement released Thursday, church officials said: "The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by Reverend Victor C. LaVoie (class of 1971) have been found to be not proven by a canonical court. Father LaVoie was placed on administrative leave in January 2002. Fr. LaVoie has now been granted Senior Priest/Retirement Status and, in the light of the USCCB Essential Norms, his priestly ministry will be restricted to his family. Permission for any other act of priestly ministry must be approved by the Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Boston."

"In reaching this decision, Cardinal Seán O'Malley reaffirmed his concern for all persons impacted by the sad reality of sexual abuse of children by clergy. The Cardinal and the Archdiocese remain committed to resolving cases of this nature in a manner that is as just as possible for all involved."

The Rev. LaVoie was assigned to St. Paul Church in Hingham from 1985-1989 and was suspended in 2002 when he was pastor of St. Eulalia Church in Winchester. LaVoie strongly denied the allegation raised in 2002 that he had sexually abused a 15-year-old boy 23 years earlier at St. Thomas of illanova Church in Wilmington.

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