Back to Boston.com homepage Arts | Entertainment Boston Globe Online Cars.com BostonWorks Real Estate Boston.com Sports digitalMass Travel The Boston Globe Spotlight Investigation Boston.com Abuse in the Catholic Church
HomePredator priestsScandal and coverupThe victimsThe financial costOpinion
Cardinal Law and the laityThe church's responseThe clergyInvestigations and lawsuits
Interactive2002 scandal overviewParish mapExtrasArchivesDocumentsAbout this site
2014 update: the Globe is launching

Crux, a Catholic news site

Please visit there for continuing Globe coverage of all Catholic issues.
 Latest coverage

April 7
Vt. church in record settlement

March 14
In Albany, bishop profile raised
Book Review: Guard of lies

February 28
Church hierarchy faulted
More than 80% of victims male

February 27
Diocese gives abuse data
Abuse peaked in '60s
2d man to aid Dupre case

February 26
Alleged victim to aid probe

February 24
Sniezyk clarifies his remarks

February 23
Prelate: Harm unrecognized

February 21
Springfield report questioned

February 20
Lawyer: Sermon riled accuser

February 17
4% of priests in US accused

February 12
Bishop resigns after claims

February 6
Arlington priest cited in suit

Earlier stories

Spotlight Report

Statement by the Boston Archdiocese on Foley settlement

1/29/2004

A statement issued by the Boston Archdiocese regarding the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the children of a woman who had an affair with a priest:

"The Archdiocese of Boston is pleased to announce that a settlement agreement has been reached among the Archdiocese and the members of the Perry family. The settlement agreement was reached through the offices of Mediator Paul A. Finn of Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation.

Archbishop O'Malley sincerely regrets that a sexual relationship existed between a priest of the Archdiocese and Rita Perry, as well as the involvement of Father Foley in the tragic circumstances of her death. Archbishop O'Malley has already met with the members of the Perry family to express his apology directly to them and to express his further regret with regard to all that the Perrys have suffered since the revelation of these tragic events last year.

Our hope is that the settlement will bring some measure of healing to the Perry family. This tragic situation illustrates the inherently exploitive and harmful nature of sexual relationships between priests and parishioners.

Last October, the Archdiocese issued a Code of Ministerial Behavior which prohibits such relationships in the strongest possible language. That policy makes clear that priests of the Archdiocese, as well as other Archdiocesan personnel, must never engage in any covert or overt sexual behavior with those for whom they have a professional or pastoral responsibility. Sexual relationships between a priest and any person are never appropriate, are a violation of the sacred vow of celibacy, and are a violation of the trust which parishioners place in their priests.

This new Code of Ministerial Behavior will be vigorously enforced. The Code, while presently in effect, has been issued in the hope that comments for improvements will be received during the year after its issuance, and we have invited the members of the Perry family to comment on the Policy.

Archbishop O'Malley has also invited Jim Perry to participate in the Advisory Board which Barbara Thorp, the director of the Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, is establishing and we hope in that way Jim will be able to convey to others the destructive impact of any sexual relationship between a priest and parishioner and to assist the Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach in responding to others who are in need or who have suffered on account of such relationships.


© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
Advertise | Contact us | Privacy policy