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BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced March 30 that Augustinian Father Peter Gori has been cleared of an allegation of abuse and that Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, has returned him to active ministry. Father Gori has also been reinstated as pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Andover and will return to the parish by Palm Sunday.
The archdiocese said the reinstatement "follows the completion of a thorough and independent investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding an allegation of abuse over 25 years ago. The investigation finding is that the allegation is unsubstantiated."
Father Gori had been out of active ministry since the abuse allegation was received in April 2019.
In a statement announcing the reinstatement, the archdiocese said, "The Augustinian Order relied upon an independent investigator, Praesidium Inc., and their Independent Review Board in concluding the allegation could not be substantiated."
"During the investigation, the attorney for the alleged victim withdrew from the case. It was subsequently determined that the alleged dates of abuse did not coincide with Rev. Gori's assignment history. The alleged victim could not recall details of the abuse and declined to participate any further in the investigation. In addition, the Essex County District Attorney affirmed that it was no longer pursuing an open investigation, the archdiocese added.
Cardinal O'Malley said, "I am pleased that the independent investigation has been completed after a thorough review of the facts. The Church's commitment to achieving a fair and just resolution is of critical importance in respecting the rights of all the parties involved. Father Gori has enjoyed over 40 years of ministry as an Augustinian and in the Archdiocese of Boston. We join the parishioners of St. Augustine's in welcoming Father Gori home."
"Every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor must be and is taken very seriously by everyone. Most priests live good and faithful lives. In my 40 years of priestly ministry I have tried to live a good and faithful life," said Father Gori.
"I am very happy to return to my parish home of St. Augustine. I have missed parish life and our wonderful parishioners. I am grateful to be able to begin with the promise of Easter at hand. Please pray for all victims of sexual abuse as they seek to heal and pray for our priests who serve the people of God joyfully," he added.