Priest had kids, papers reveal

Cleric was later assigned to a parish; files gleaned in lawsuit
AP, Dec. 6, 2002

BOSTON – A priest fathered at least two children in the 1960s and apparently failed to call doctors immediately when their mother collapsed from an overdose, according to personnel files that contain some of the most lurid allegations yet in the Boston Archdiocese sex-abuse scandal.

Handwritten notes in the Rev. James D. Foley’s file indicate that when the woman collapsed from an apparent drug overdose, he got dressed, left and returned some time later before phoning for help.

The woman has since died; it was not clear when, or whether the overdose had anything to do with her death. The file contained no information on the drug she had used.

The notes, made public Thursday, were among 11,000 documents that the archdiocese was ordered by a judge to hand over to attorneys representing dozens of people who allege church sex abuse.

When the details on Father Foley came to church’s attention in 1993, the documents indicate, Cardinal Bernard Law and Bishop John McCormack ordered him to resign his post at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Sudbury and to undergo treatment at a residential center in Canada.

After his release, the archdiocese in 1994 agreed to let him live at a rectory and to celebrate Mass while continuing his therapy but barred him from performing other ministry duties or having anything to do with “vulnerable women.”

Father Foley was placed in a parish in 1995 and has since been appointed associate pastor.

An initial review of the documents show no further allegations of sexual impropriety against Father Foley. However, the order restricting his ministry duties was renewed as recently as 1998, the documents show.

Father Foley did not return a call to his parish, and the archdiocese did not return a phone message.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday December 6, 2002.
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