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Accused had been named, diocese says

The Archdiocese of Boston said it has reviewed its files and found that all the priests accused in 140 new claims of sexual abuse filed since last year's $85 million settlement with abuse victims have been publicly identified and removed from ministry.

On Sunday, the Rev. Christopher J. Coyne said that one of the priests who was the subject of new allegations had not been accused by any of the 541 plaintiffs in last year's settlement, but that the name of that priest was not available when he was contacted Saturday by the Globe.

But Coyne said that upon review, the priest he was referring to, the Rev. John E. McLaughlin, had been named publicly and stepped down as pastor at St. Benedict Church in Somerville in May after he was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with a minor nearly 20 years ago.

McLaughlin was also named in a 2002 lawsuit that alleged he sexually abused two men on two occasions. No action was taken to remove McLaughlin from his position at that time, Coyne said, because the archdiocese handled allegations of sexual abuse of adults differently from allegations involving minors.

Carmen L. Durso, the lawyer who represented the two men who accused McLaughlin, called the explanation about the timing of McLaughlin's removal from ministry "nonsense."

KEVIN CULLEN

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