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Ex-NHL Player: Priest Admitted Abuse

Oct 21, 2002 | AP

The highest-ranking Boston Archdiocese official implicated in the sex scandal admitted molesting three boys more than 20 years ago, a former Boston Bruins hockey player said in sworn testimony filed Monday.

The athlete, Chris Nilan, is a friend of the priest, Monsignor Frederick J. Ryan, who was vice chancellor under then-Boston Cardinal Humberto Medeiros.

Ryan sexually abused David Carney and two others, and maintained a sexual relationship with one of the two others up until three years ago, Nilan said in June when questioned in a lawsuit brought by Carney against Ryan and the archdiocese.

Nilan, 44, a friend of the three alleged victims, said he confronted Ryan after allegations surfaced earlier this year.

"I needed some answers for my own sanity," said Nilan, whose wedding was performed by Ryan. "Having done confession with him before, I had to hold him to supposedly what his morals and values of the church were."

Lawyers for Ryan and the archdiocese did not immediately return calls for comment.

Nilan's lawyer, Francis J. DiMento Jr., said his client "really didn't want to be involved in this" but understood his legal responsibility to testify. Asked about Nilan's specific allegations, DiMento said he had nothing to add to what was in the deposition, and said it was unlikely that Nilan would comment himself.

Ryan was pastor of a church in Kingston and oversaw 16 parishes when the charges arose. He is suspended and has in the past refused to comment.

Ryan was a chaplain at a Boston parochial school where Nilan and Carney both played hockey, though they were nine years apart. Nilan played with the National Hockey League for 15 years, 10 with the Montreal Canadiens and two with the Bruins.


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