(Host) A priest who has been under suspension by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington is returning to work. The Reverend John Milanese of Randolph was one of six priests placed on administrative leave last May because of alleged sexual misconduct.
Earlier this month, authorities completed a review of the allegations against Milanese. The attorney general said the statute of limitations had expired and state couldn’t prove that a crime had been committed. Now the diocese has given the priest permission to return to his parish.
Parishioners were told of the decision at weekend Masses. Paul Lissandrello is deacon of Saints Donation and Rogation Church in Randolph.
(Lissandrello) “When I announced this at the two masses, there was spontaneous applause because it’s been a long time waiting. There’s been a lot of uncertainty as to when it would be over.”
(Host) Lissandrello says Milinase will return in two weeks. A second priest announced his retirement shortly after the attorney general finished reviewing allegations against him. The Reverend Donal Ward of Vergennes acknowledged having a long relationship with a young man. Ward said the relationship became sexual only after the person reached the age of consent.
Authorities are reviewing allegations against nearly forty other present and former Vermont priests. Four active priests remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations.