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Spotlight Report

Cleric is ordered from rectory

By Thomas Farragher, Globe Staff, 2/28/2002

The Archdiocese of Boston yesterday ordered the eviction of the Rev. D. George Spagnolia from the rectory at St. Patrick's Church in Lowell, less than a week after he was accused of sexual molestation, but the pastor has not yet decided to obey.

''They don't care where I live,'' said Spagnolia, who spent last night in the rectory. ''What are you trying to make them, Christians?''

Spagnolia said he was notified in a certified letter from Cardinal Bernard F. Law that he was being evicted, a notice that also officially places him on administrative leave from his pastoral duties. He said the archdiocese also said it would contact him about the status of his monthly stipend, now $1,400.

''It just says, `You are to move out' or `you are not to reside in the rectory. These are difficult times. You are in my prayers.' All that kind of stuff,'' said Spagnolia, who intends to respond to the order today.

The archdiocese removed the 64-year-old priest last week after receiving a complaint that he had sexually molested a 14-year-old boy in 1971 while he was serving in a Roxbury parish. Spagnolia announced on Monday that he was refusing to resign as pastor and that he intended to stay in the rectory. He said he plans to consult a canon lawyer.

Donna M. Morrissey, the archdiocesan spokeswoman, would not confirm whether Spagnolia was evicted from the church or rectory last night.

This story ran on page A9 of the Boston Globe on 2/28/2002.
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