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VA chaplain suspended for alleged inappropriate talks with minors

A chaplain for Veterans Administration Medical Center in Bedford was suspended because of allegations about long-ago inappropriate conversations with minors, the Archdiocese for the Military Services said Monday.

The allegations of “boundary violations with minors” against the Rev. Luke Odor emerged recently but date to the early to mid-1990s, the Archdiocese for the Military Services said in a statement. The alleged conversations occurred when Odor worked in the Archdiocese of St. Paul Minneapolis and the Diocese of Fargo, N.D., and appear to have been resolved by all parties.

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On Nov. 23, the Archdiocese of Boston said that Odor was under investigation for “personal conduct matters.”

The Archdiocese for the Military Services suspended Odor and began its investigation “out of an abundance of caution,” its statement said.

“We’re not going to comment beyond the statement, other than to say that the alleged violation was strictly conversational,” said Taylor Henry, a spokesman for the Archdiocese for the Military Services. “What was alleged was a conversation, and there were no allegations of any physical misconduct.”

Odor, a priest from the Diocese of Aba, Nigeria, was working as a chaplain under the US Department of Veterans Affairs, assigned to Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital and living in the rectory at the Church of St. Isidore in Stow.

Odor was not under the control of the Boston Archdiocese, spokesman Terrence C. Donilon said, and was supervised solely by the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

Odor had been granted faculties, or permissions, within the Boston Archdiocese when he was assigned to Bedford, but those faculties are suspended, Donilon said. Odor is no longer allowed to live at the rectory and does not have permission to act as a priest in the Boston Archdiocese.

Donilon said he had no information about the allegations.

Odor cannot work as a Catholic priest until the investigation is completed and presented to the Archdiocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Archdiocese for the Military Services said.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.

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