Archdiocese Reinstates Priest

A Roman Catholic priest suspended a year ago after he was accused of child sexual abuse has been reinstated after the allegation was found to be unsubstantiated.

The Boston Archdiocese announced Thursday that the Rev. Joseph Byrne has returned to ministry and been granted senior priest status.

Byrne was suspended last May after the Archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that was alleged to have occurred in the 1970s. It was reported to law enforcement.

Byrne was involved in limited ministry at a Falmouth church when he was suspended.

He had previously served at parishes in Dorchester, Quincy, Weymouth and Waltham.

Byrne was sentenced to five years of probation in June 2005 after pleading no contest to embezzling more than $135,000 from the Waltham parish.

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