Hundreds support Mass. pastor accused of abuse
LYNN, Mass. (WHDH) -- Hundreds of people came together Sunday to stand by Rev. James Gaudreau, who was put on leave Sunday based on accusations that he sexually abused a child.
The allegations are more than six years old, but are just surfacing. Mass on Sunday ended at 8 p.m. but the pews remained full as parishioners showed their support for a pastor they believe is innocent.
“We consider him like a father to us,” said Eunilda Victoriano.
“We know him and we know he’s a nice person. He’s a nice person and priest,” said Blanca Contreras, another parishioner.
“It was a beautiful night. He’s a nice guy, so I don’t believe that,” said Jose Ruvas.
On Sunday, the Archdiocese of Boston announced they were putting Rev. Gaudreau on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation examining these allegations.
On Sunday night Rev. Gaudreau was missing from the mass he usually holds, but hundreds stayed in church for a vigil in his support.
“Of course we feel that something is missing. It’s hurting to the whole parish, to all of us,” said Victoriano. “We’re praying for him, we’re praying for the family that came…and for everybody.”