Maureen Locher, from the Maryland Province, said Neil McLaughlin, now 82, was removed from all ministries and barred from practicing or describing himself as a priest publicly in 2006, two years before the recent allegation. That action was taken after the Province had reviewed McLaughlin’s record and discovered a much earlier allegation of s@xual misconduct that apparently had not been acted on, Locher said. The entire first incident occurred before the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued its “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” The charter was a response to the priest s@x abuse scandal that started in Boston and swept across the nation. Coupled with new mandates from the Vatican, it was designed in part as an answer to numerous allegations that bishops had concealed the problem by reassigning accused priests rather than removing them from duty. Locher noted the Jesuits are technically not bound to the charter since they are not diocesan priests, but they follow it.
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