Vatican Defrocks Former Priest Accused of Abuse

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The Vatican has defrocked a priest who was named in one of the Worcester Diocese of Massachusetts' largest sex-abuse settlements.

The diocese in a statement Thursday said Peter Inzerillo was laicized at his own request. The decision means Inzerillo "may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as 'Father.' "

The diocese had removed Inzerillo from ministry in 2002.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that Inzerillo was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old man in 1985. The diocese settled the case in 1999 for $300,000.

Inzerillo was not criminally charged.

Ordained in 1970, he served at parishes in Leominster and Fitchburg and was also headmaster at St. Peter-Marian High School.

A listed number for Inzerillo was not in service Friday.

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