The pastor of Saint Bridget Parish in Framingham, Massachusetts, has been placed on administrative leave after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor over a decade ago, the Archdiocese of Boston announced Friday.
The allegation against Rev. Msgr. Francis V. Strahan dates back to approximately 2006.
In a statement, the archdiocese said it immediately informed law enforcement and has also initiated its own investigation into the complaint. Strahan will remain on administrative leave without any public ministry pending the outcome, and he won't stay in the rectory.
A voicemail was left for Strahan at St. Bridget.
The archdiocese said the decision to place Strahan on leave does not represent a determination of his guilt or innocence.
"The Archdiocese of Boston is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions," the statement said. "Through its Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, the Archdiocese continues to make counseling and other services available to survivors, their families and parishes impacted by clergy sexual abuse and by allegations of abuse by members of the clergy."
Many parents at the Saint Bridget School didn't want to talk about the allegation as school was getting out Friday, but those who did said they were behind Strahan.
"I'm sick, I'm sad," said a woman who gave her name as Susan and said she was a memeber of the parish for decades.
"I had two daughters, when they were in high school, who worked in the rectory for him. [He is] just very upstanding, everything," the woman said. "I'm 100% behind him, more than that."
According to the St. Bridget Parish website, Strahan was appointed pastor in 1983. Prior to that, he served on the faculty of St. John's Seminary College and Theologate for 18 years, teaching liturgy, church music and homiletics. He also served as an adjunct faculty member for Pope John XXIII Seminary for Delayed Vocations in Weston for many years. He is also the vicar of the Framingham Vicariate, a collection of parishes within the archdiocese, and serves on a number of archdiocesan boards.