Roman Catholic diocese suspends Fall River priest accused of misconduct

FALL RIVER, Mass. — A Roman Catholic diocese in Massachusetts says a longtime priest has been suspended amid an allegation of sexual misconduct.

The Herald News reports that Fall River Bishop Edgar Moreira da Cunha said in an email Sunday that Father Bruce Neylon, pastor of Holy Trinity Church, was removed from active ministry.

Da Cunha said an individual claimed Neylon had sexual contact with him on numerous occasions in the early 1980s, when the victim was aged 14 or 15. He said the victim was not a member of the parish to which Neylon was assigned at the time and the alleged abuse did not occur on church property.

Neylon has denied the allegation.

Da Cunha called the allegation "credible" and said the case was referred to the Bristol County District Attorney's office.

A statement posted on the Fall River Diocese's website said Neylon was ordained in 1975 and listed his past assignments as parochial vicar (or assistant), Holy Name Parish, Fall River (1975); parochial vicar, St. Patrick Parish, Wareham (1982); pastoral care, Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Attleboro (1985); pastor, St. Mary Parish, Seekonk (1983); pastor, St. Stanislaus Parish, Fall River (2002); pastor, Holy Trinity Parish, Fall River (2012).