Beth Israel Deaconess chaplain's ministry privileges revoked in Boston

A Catholic priest with ties to Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center saw his "faculties to minister removed" in the Archdiocese of Boston after allegations he sexually abused a child in 2007, The Boston Globe reports.

The Archdiocese of Boston confirmed in a statement — obtained by The Boston Globe — the ousting of Rev. Christian Ohazulume, an extern priest from Nigeria who has served as chaplain at Beth Israel Deaconess since 2010, according to the report. Mr. Ohazulume currently resides at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Brookline, Mass., where he has "assisted in celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.”

The Archdiocese of Boston said it was informed of the sexual abuse allegation against Mr. Ohazulume Aug. 31 and immediately notified law enforcement. Mr. Ohazulume was scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 11 in Quincy (Mass.) District Court on unspecified charges related to the alleged assault.

"The allegation was identified to have occurred in 2007, during a time he was residing with a family upon his arrival in the United States," church officials said, adding that "the Archdiocese has been in contact with [Mr. Ohazulume's] home Diocese of Nnewi, Nigeria and informed them of the allegation and that his faculties to minister have been withdrawn in the Archdiocese of Boston."

Church officials said they were advised by police to delay publicizing the information while they initiated their investigation.

The Archdiocese of Boston announced a policy change Sept. 7 that Cardinal Seán O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, will now review "all letters that come to his office related to the commission or are abuse-related, even if they address matters outside his authority," the report states.

In a Sept. 11 statement to Becker's Hospital Review, Jennifer Kritz, senior director of communications at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said: "When the Archdiocese informed us about the allegation and its decision to revoke Rev. Ohazulume's ministry faculties, we immediately placed him on unpaid leave and terminated him shortly thereafter. He is no longer employed by BIDMC."

To access the full report, click here.

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