Boston, Mass., Aug 10, 2018 / 01:57 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Séan O’Malley has announced a major investigation into St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston, following allegations made by two former seminarians. The cardinal also announced that the rector of the seminary, Monsignor James Moroney, had been placed on immediate leave to allow for a “fully independent inquiry.”

The announcement was made by Cardinal O’Malley on Friday afternoon, August 10.

In a prepared statement, the cardinal said that he had learned of the allegations earlier that week, after posts by the former seminarians appeared on social media. The Archdiocese has not confirmed the exact nature of the allegations.

“Earlier this week I was informed that two former seminarians of St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston had posted allegations on social media sites including the Archdiocese’s Facebook page that during their time at the seminary they witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood,” O’Malley said.

The cardinal, who also serves as the President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, stressed that he has not yet been able to either prove or disprove the allegations, but that the matter was being treated with the utmost seriousness.

“As Archbishop of Boston, with responsibility for the integrity of the seminary and its compliance with the Church’s Program for Priestly Formation, I am committed to immediate action to address these serious matters.”

In addition to announcing Msgr. Moroney’s “sabbatical,” Cardinal O’Malley said that he has appointed Rev. Stephen E. Salocks to serve as Interim Rector of St. John’s. Father Salocks currently serves as a professor at the seminary.

The investigation into the allegations is being led by Bishop Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Dr. Francisco Cesareo, President of Assumption College and President of the USCCB National Review Board, which advises the USCCB on matters of child and youth protection policies and practices, and Ms. Kimberly Jones, CEO of Athena Legal Strategies Group.

Read more at Catholic World Report.