Catholic priest put on leave after allegation of abuse -

Catholic priest put on leave after allegation of abuse

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LANCASTER, Mass. ( -- A Catholic priest has been put on administrative leave after the Bishop of Worcester announced he had been accused of a "credible allegation of sexual misconduct."

Fr. Edward P. Lettic is accused of abusing a minor 40 years ago, Most Rev. Robert J. McManus announced on Sunday.

The victim came forward recently, McManus said, and the allegation was investigated by a Worcester diocese review committee.

The Boston Globe reports that Lettic was an associate pastor at Joan of Arc Church in Worcester at the time.

"It is the first and only report of an allegation of misconduct which we have received involving Fr. Lettic," McManus announced at Mass on Sunday. Because of the serious nature of the allegation...I must relieve Father Lettic of his duties as pastor of the parish and remove his faculties as a priest."

A "canonical process," has begun in Rome that will look into the allegation against Lettic. If during this process he is found guilty, McManus said, he could be defrocked or sanctioned to a life of prayer and penance, according to McManus.

The Worcester County District Attorney's office will also look into the allegations and determine if the statute of limitations is up.

Lettic was ordained in the Diocese of Worcester in 1973 and became pastor of the Immaculate Conception church in Lancaster in 1993.

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