The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has defrocked seven priests who had been accused of molesting children.
Church officials took the action Friday.
Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley, in a statement, expressed the Church's deepest sorrow to the victims for the harm they suffered.
Reports of the sexual abuse of children by priests began to surface in 2002. Some one thousand victims were identified, and the Church has agreed to pay at least 85 million dollars to settle legal claims related to the scandal.
The seven defrocked priests included the Reverend Monsignor Frederick Ryan, a former vice chancellor of the archdiocese.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.