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Statement from the Diocese of Worcester

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December 28, 2018

WORCESTER, MA -- Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester has announced the appointment of Monsignor James P. Moroney as Interim Rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Office for Divine Worship, effective January 1, 2019. Monsignor Robert Johnson, current rector of the Cathedral, will be assigned to studies in Rome according to the officials in today's Catholic Free Press.

Bishop McManus recalled "the sacrifice which the Diocese of Worcester has made in allowing one of its very capable priests to serve as Rector of Saint John's Seminary. He continued, "I am now grateful that his pastoral leadership skills will once again be placed at the service of his home Diocese."

Monsignor Moroney served for the past six years as Rector of Saint John's Seminary in Boston. During that time the Seminary experienced a significant increase in enrollment as many new seminarians entered through the work of the Archdiocese of Boston's Vocations Office and four new sending Dioceses were added. During Monsignor's tenure the Seminary facilities were expanded, new faculty members were added and the Archdiocese established an affiliation between the Seminary and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas.

In August of 2018 Cardinal O'Malley and Monsignor Moroney mutually agreed that Monsignor would begin a sabbatical, in order to assure complete transparency for the process of a review concerning matters pertaining to St. John's Seminary. The Cardinal also held it unfortunate that there were reports that the sabbatical was prompted by complaints against Monsignor Moroney, noting that Monsignor had fulfilled his responsibilities very well as Rector.

Monsignor Moroney expressed his gratitude to Bishop McManus for his new assignment and for making him available for service to Saint John's Seminary. He also thanked Cardinal O'Malley for the privilege of serving as Rector. "Over the nearly forty years since my ordination," he reflected "my single goal has been to be of whatever service to the Church I can. I am deeply grateful for my time at Saint John's Seminary and look forward to serving the people of Worcester in the years to come."

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