Bill Greene/Globe Staff
The Archdiocese of Boston announced today that three priests named in the clergy sex abuse scandal in Ireland previously served in Massachusetts, but said no allegations were made that they had abused anyone while they were here.
The archdiocese said a fourth priest from Ireland -- who was not named in the Irish scandal -- is being investigated for an alleged abuse that occurred here 30 years ago.
The disclosure comes as the archdiocese announced the formation of an Office of Pastoral Support and Child Protection, a merger of several child advocacy and background screening departments, to better document and safeguard against child abuse. The church also has established an Office of Professional Standards and Oversight .
“The Archdiocese of Boston has worked diligently to ensure our children’s safety and to promote healing and reconciliation in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse crisis,” Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said in a statement. "Much has been accomplished by our efforts, but more remains to be done. The establishment of these two new offices will allow us to continue our critical work in the areas of prevention and protection and to continue to care for those impacted by clergy sexual abuse in a more integrated manner.”
The disclosure that three accused priests from Ireland had worked here came less than a month after two victims' advocate groups, The Survivors Network of those Abused By Priests and BishopAccountability.org, had called on the cardinal to open up its files on Irish priests. The request was made after a report in the fall showed that church officials in Dublin had concealed a massive sex abuse crisis and in some cases sent accused priests to other countries.
The archdiocese said the three priests who worked here were: Joseph Maguire, Dennis Murphy, and Brendan Smyth. Smyth became the face of the sexual abuse crisis in Ireland after pleading guilty to sexually abusing 20 boys and girls between 1958 and 1993. He died in an Irish prison in 1997.
While he is not the subject of any allegations in Massachusetts, Smyth has faced allegations of abuse in Rhode Island, according to victims' advocates.
Victims' advocates plan a news conference this afternoon to call on the archdiocese to detail the places that Maguire, Murphy and Smyth worked during their stay in the area, and to identify the fourth priest whose accusations remain under investigation.
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