Suspended city priest resigns his position

Allegation of abuse found not credible, archdiocese says

other concern found

September 23, 2002|By Erika Niedowski | Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF

A priest who was suspended from his duties in July after being accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy has resigned, the Archdiocese of Baltimore announced yesterday.

The Rev. Alfred Dean, 42, voluntarily stepped down as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in East Baltimore last week and has requested a leave of absence from the Josephite Society, said archdiocese spokesman Steve Kearney.

A statement issued by the archdiocese yesterday said that the original allegation against Dean - that he had inappropriate sexual contact in April with a 14-year-old boy - "does not appear to be credible."

But the statement said that an investigation revealed "significant issues of concern about Father Dean's fitness for ministry with minors."

"Those concerns could not be resolved," it said.

The investigation of the abuse allegation was conducted jointly by the Josephite Society and the archdiocese, Kearney said.

According to the statement, the Josephites granted Dean's request for a leave "out of concern for his personal health and welfare."

Cardinal William H. Keeler has approved the appointment of the Rev. James McLinden as pastor of St. Francis Xavier, effective Oct. 9, the statement said. No other information about McLinden was available from the archdiocese last night.

Kearney said the Josephites notified parishioners at St. Francis Xavier of the changes after Mass yesterday.

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