2 priests suspended amid decades old abuse complaints

St. Anne’s Church in Fall River. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) – Two retired Catholic priests in Massachusetts have been suspended amid separate allegations of sexual abuse.

The Diocese of Fall River said Sunday that Fathers James Buckley and Edward Byington have been accused of abusing minors decades ago.

The diocese didn’t specify the nature of the abuse other than to say they are separate, unrelated claims and have been referred to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Both priests deny the allegations, according to the diocese. Buckley and Byington have not been assigned to a specific parish since their retirement, but have assisted in church services in various communities, the diocese said.