(CEN) Diocese of Lincoln chided for its silence over 1994 abuse arrest

The Diocese of Lincoln failed to inform the Diocese of Massachusetts that one of its priests had been arrested for child abuse while serving as a vicar in Skegness.

The Rev. Franklin E. Huntress, Jr., relinquished his priestly orders rather than face a church trial last month after the Diocese of Massachusetts began an investigation into charges the 77 year old retired priest had molested a child in 1974.

During the course of its investigation, the diocese learned Mr. Huntress had been arrested by police for abusing a child in 1994 while service as vicar of St. Matthew’s Church in Skegness, Lincs. No charges were filed against the American vicar as the family did not want the child to testify in court. However, church investigators concluded the allegations were true after reading the police report and speaking to the officers involved, said Canon Mally Lloyd, the Bishop of Massachusetts’s assistant.

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