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Lawsuit Links Cardinal to Placing Pedophile Priest in Pepperell, Lowell


Lawsuit Links Cardinal to Placing Pedophile Priest in Pepperell, Lowell

By Lisa Redmond
Lowell (MA) Sun
April 10, 2002

From the Link: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news/2002_04_10_Redmond_LawsuitLinks.htm

Lowell, MA – New civil lawsuits accuse two priests who served in three Greater Lowell communities of sexual abuse, alleging that church leaders knew about the incidents and did nothing to stop them.

A Lowell man says he was abused for four years by the Rev. Richard O. Matte, then at St. Louis De France Parish in Lowell.

And three brothers say they were molested more than 100 times each by the Rev. Mark Fleming, at John the Evangelist parish in Hudson, N.H., in the early 1980s.

In the Lowell case, Derek Mousseau has sued Matte, Cardinal Bernard Law and the Archdiocese of Boston, saying that Law knew or should have known that Matte was allegedly committing sexual predatory acts. The lawsuit says Mousseau was 13 when the abuse began in 1989.

Matte was a school chaplain at the Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood in the early 1970s, According to published reports, school administrators were told Matte had been abusing one student during confessions.

The student who reported the alleged abuse was suspended for starting the rumor about Matte, while the priest continued at the school, reports state.

Mousseau’s suit alleges that the church received numerous complaints against Matte. Attorney Roderick MacLeish says that around 1988, Law removed Matte from the Assumption Parish in Bellingham because of complaints of sex abuse. Law was aware of the molestation complaints against Matte while he was at St. Joseph’s Parish in Pepperell and while he was assigned to Xaverian, MacLeish says.

Matte was placed on sick leave in 1993, reportedly to receive treatment related to sex abuse of young boys, the lawsuit states. Matte returned to duty in 1996, working in the Boston Ardhiocese personnel office. He has retired.

It is not clear if Matte could face criminal charges. The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office declined comment.

The lawsuit accuses Matte of assault and battery, and Law of negligence. It asks for more than $25,000. Lawsuits filed against the church total in the millions of dollars.

Neither MacLeish or Mousseau could be reached for comment. Donna Morrissey, spokesman for the Boston Archidocese, did not return phone calls. Matte, who is retired and lives in South Dennis, has an unlisted phone number.

In the New Hampshire case, Fleming is accused of “savagely sexually assaulting” all three brothers from 1974 and 1983. They are not identified in their lawsuit.

Their attorney, Mark Abramson, said that in one case, Fleming held one of the boys under water in an apparent display of his power.

The allegation is in one of four lawsuits Abramson filed Monday on behalf of six men who say they were sexually abused by priests. The lawsuits accuse officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester of failing to protect the men from the alleged assaults, the most recent of which was in 1983.

According to the lawsuit, most of the assaults against the brothers took place at the church rectory. The lawsuit says another priest at the parish, the Rev. Stephen Scruton, knew of the abuse, did nothing to prevent it, and molested one of the boys himself. Scruton was fired from a job as a counselor for sex offenders at a jail in Massachusetts when the diocese released a list of priests accused of sexual offenses. Scruton does not have a listed telephone number in the state.

Calls to the churches involved failed to turn up anyone who even recognized the names of the accused priests. There is an unlisted number for a Mark Fleming in Manchester, where Abramson said the former Hudson priest lives.

In a written statement, Bishop John McCormack said he was saddened by the reports and committed to helping anyone sexually abused by a priest.

Abramson said the brothers’ family reported the assaults in 1983 and the case went to the attorney general’s office. Abramson does not know why it was not prosecuted. Assistant Attorney General N. William Delker said he could not comment on the 1983 allegations, or the current lawsuits.

Diocesan spokesman Patrick McGee said that while Fleming has not been defrocked, his right to minister was revoked in 1983 when an accusation was made against him. McGee did not know whether it was the same allegation that prompted the brothers’ lawsuit.

Former priest barred from contact with anyone under 16, turns up at other NH churches


Former priest barred from contact with anyone under 16, turns up at other NH churches


Monitor staff

Monday, January 18, 2016
From the Link: http://www.concordmonitor.com/Archive/2016/01/ChurchSide-cm-011716
The South Parish Unitarian Church, locked during a cold winter rainstorm, looked like so many other churches in so many other towns.

Its steeple and clock, standing tall at the edge of Charlestown’s main strip, rose through the mist, a sign out front attached to weathered brick reading “built in 1844.”

Recently, a man named Mark Fleming, a former Catholic priest accused of molesting three young boys in the 1980s, worked at this historic site, perhaps breaking an agreement that forbade him from having contact with children younger than 16.

A Manchester attorney, Mark Abramson, who represented the boys in a civil suit in 2002, is still outraged that Fleming never served any prison time.

“It’s a shame the public can’t have the opportunity to hear in detail from these boys what happened,” Abramson said in a phone interview. “Now of course they are grown men, but they are haunted by this and it could have destroyed their lives, and to some extent it has.”

Like so many other priests who faced credible accusations of sexual assault, Fleming was never prosecuted. Many priests were protected by an expired statute of limitations, or perhaps families were unwilling to face them in a criminal trial.

As a result, many of the priests who were exposed for inappropriate sexual relationships in Massachusetts and New Hampshire remain free to live wherever they want, away from the watchful eye of law enforcement.

The Monitor learned about Fleming’s background in Charlestown from David Clohessy, the national leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

Clohessy, who is based in St. Louis and was sexually abused by a priest as a child, wrote on his website last month that Fleming “now heads the South Parish Unitarian Church in Charlestown.”

Fleming, who lives in Manchester, told the Monitor by phone that he worked at the church “for quite some time.” He said officials were aware of his background, and said children were never part of the congregation.

Hard of hearing and startled by the call, Fleming hung up before revealing any more information. His freedom, though, underscores the state’s inability to prosecute men who would have been put behind bars if not for the power of their white collars.

Paperwork from the Diocese of Manchester and the attorney general’s office reveal that Fleming admitted molesting the three boys, all brothers, at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Hudson in 1983.

“The incident of abuse involved an 11-year-old child lying naked on a bed in the rectory in Hudson. Rev. Fleming was discovered fondling the genitals of the boy. Rev. Fleming has admitted the act, having been confronted by his superiors,” stated a child sexual abuse report to the attorney general’s office.

The boys’ father, documents show, declined to press charges, saying the family wanted to avoid shame and scandal.

Fleming then signed an agreement in 1984 that forbade him from “teaching or in any way participating in any future religious, educational, or organized social programs which involve children under the age of 16 . . . for the remainder of his natural life.”

In that same agreement, the Hillsborough County Attorney’s office agreed not to seek indictments if Fleming stuck to the deal.

If Fleming, now 63, violated the agreement, he could potentially face prosecution for the original offenses, lawyers said, but that could ultimately fall to a judge to decide.

Fleming resigned from the Diocese of Manchester while undergoing therapy in Missouri in 1986.

Another document, a confidential memorandum from 1997 sent by Monsignor Normal Bolduc to Bishop Francis Christian, incorrectly reported that Fleming “passed away sometime last month.”

John Hurley, director of communications for the Unitarian Universalist Association, based in Boston, wrote in an email to the Monitor that a Mark Fleming worked at the First Universalist Church of West Chesterfield from 1998 to 2000.

The Monitor was not able to confirm that this was the same person accused of assaulting children in 1983.

In 2002, Fleming was named in a civil suit brought by the three boys who had accused him of molesting them in ’83, which ended in a settlement.

Abramson said Fleming should have been locked up for his crimes. He no longer represents victims of child sexual abuse. “It just took a toll on me personally,” Abramson said.

As for Fleming, he told the Monitor he recently left the Unitarian church in Charlestown. His exact role there and whether he had contact with minors remains a mystery.

He became a member in October 2013, according to Hurley. Fleming lists himself as a minister on his LinkedIn account.

“We have no indication that he was serving them as a minister, only that he was a member,” Hurley said in his email. “His exact role in that congregation could only be ascertained by checking with the congregation.”

One number listed for the Charlestown church was disconnected, while another rang for a while before a high-pitched beep sounded.

And recently, the doors there were locked.

(Ray Duckler can be reached at 369-3304 or rduckler@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @rayduckler.)

Former Catholic Priest Mark Fleming At NH Historic Church


Former Catholic Priest Mark Fleming At NH Historic Church

From the link: https://predatorshepherds.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/former-catholic-priest-mark-fleming-at-nh-historic-church/

Former priest barred from contact with anyone under 16, turns up at other NH churches.

The South Parish , locked during a cold winter rainstorm, looked like so many other churches in so many other towns.

Its steeple and clock, standing tall at the edge of Charlestown’s main strip, rose through the mist, a sign out front attached to weathered brick reading “built in 1844.”

Recently, a man named Mark Fleming, a former Catholic priest accused of molesting three young boys in the 1980s, worked at this historic site, perhaps breaking an agreement that forbade him from having contact with children younger than 16.

A Manchester attorney, Mark Abramson, who represented the boys in a civil suit in 2002, is still outraged that Fleming never served any prison time.

“It’s a shame the public can’t have the opportunity to hear in detail from these boys what happened,” Abramson said in a phone interview. “Now of course they are grown men, but they are haunted by this and it could have destroyed their lives, and to some extent it has.”

Like so many other priests who faced credible accusations of sexual assault, Fleming was never prosecuted. Many priests were protected by an expired statute of limitations, or perhaps families were unwilling to face them in a criminal trial.

As a result, many of the priests who were exposed for inappropriate sexual relationships in Massachusetts and New Hampshire remain free to live wherever they want, away from the watchful eye of law enforcement.

The Monitor learned about Fleming’s background in Charlestown from David Clohessy, the national leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

Clohessy, who is based in St. Louis and was sexually abused by a priest as a child, wrote on his website last month that Fleming “now heads the South Parish Unitarian Church in Charlestown.”

Fleming, who lives in Manchester, told the Monitor by phone that he worked at the church “for quite some time.” He said officials were aware of his background, and said children were never part of the congregation.

Hard of hearing and startled by the call, Fleming hung up before revealing any more information. His freedom, though, underscores the state’s inability to prosecute men who would have been put behind bars if not for the power of their white collars.

Paperwork from the Diocese of Manchester and the attorney general’s office reveal that Fleming admitted molesting the three boys, all brothers, at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Hudson in 1983.

“The incident of abuse involved an 11-year-old child lying naked on a bed in the rectory in Hudson. Rev. Fleming was discovered fondling the genitals of the boy. Rev. Fleming has admitted the act, having been confronted by his superiors,” stated a child sexual abuse report to the attorney general’s office.

The boys’ father, documents show, declined to press charges, saying the family wanted to avoid shame and scandal.

Fleming then signed an agreement in 1984 that forbade him from “teaching or in any way participating in any future religious, educational, or organized social programs which involve children under the age of 16 . . . for the remainder of his natural life.”

In that same agreement, the Hillsborough County Attorney’s office agreed not to seek indictments if Fleming stuck to the deal.

If Fleming, now 63, violated the agreement, he could potentially face prosecution for the original offenses, lawyers said, but that could ultimately fall to a judge to decide.

Fleming resigned from the Diocese of Manchester while undergoing therapy in Missouri in 1986.

Another document, a confidential memorandum from 1997 sent by Monsignor Normal Bolduc to Bishop Francis Christian, incorrectly reported that Fleming “passed away sometime last month.”

John Hurley, director of communications for the Unitarian Universalist Association, based in Boston, wrote in an email to the Monitor that a Mark Fleming worked at the First Universalist Church of West Chesterfield from 1998 to 2000.

The Monitor was not able to confirm that this was the same person accused of assaulting children in 1983.

In 2002, Fleming was named in a civil suit brought by the three boys who had accused him of molesting them in ’83, which ended in a settlement.

Abramson said Fleming should have been locked up for his crimes. He no longer represents victims of child sexual abuse. “It just took a toll on me personally,” Abramson said.

As for Fleming, he told the Monitor he recently left the Unitarian church in Charlestown. His exact role there and whether he had contact with minors remains a mystery.

He became a member in October 2013, according to Hurley. Fleming lists himself as a minister on his LinkedIn account.

“We have no indication that he was serving them as a minister, only that he was a member,” Hurley said in his email. “His exact role in that congregation could only be ascertained by checking with the congregation.”

One number listed for the Charlestown church was disconnected, while another rang for a while before a high-pitched beep sounded.

And recently, the doors there were locked.

A MESSAGE TO “FATHER” LEON GAULIN, ST THOMAS MORE PARISH IN DURHAM NEW HAMPSHIRE AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH


A MESSAGE TO “FATHER” LEON GAULIN, ST THOMAS MORE PARISH IN DURHAM NEW HAMPSHIRE AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Hey Leon, you pedophile psycho!!! How has been your life you disgusting piece of shit? Oh I know how your life has been. The investigator for Peter Hutchins told me quite a bit about your sorry ass.

Gee…like I know, unlike myself, you never missed one single meal, or had to worry where your next meal came from. Myself? Sometimes I had to dive into dumpsters and eat canned cat food.

I know how you NEVER had to worry about a roof over your head. While I have slept under bridges, houses, in parks, being homeless sometimes for months at a time.

We’re your dreams sweet Leon? Did you ever dream or have a nightmare about what you and the others did to me that night? I know now there were others with you Leon. I know why you gave me that drink of water. Funny how I do not remember pretty much anything after that…but I know something more horrifying happened to me at the hands of you and other priests that night. Did you dedicate me to the service of Satan? Did you sacrifice my soul on your altar? Is that why I felt I was a demon afterwards, so much so that I took the name of Damien from The Omen movies as my name? Why Leon, does Desmonds name stick in my head? Was he there? Did he rape me too along with a few others? I remember Desmond from St Charles. So tell me Leon, did you all seriously have to destroy everything about me that night? Do you feel proud of all the pain, suffering, horror that you brought and caused in my life?

As for myself Leon, I wish you could experience some of my nightmares, where I am in hell, being gang-raped by priests, and the very demons of hell. Typically Leon they end with you. See you now have the face of a demon, but I know it is you. You come over, rip off my dick and eat it. I feel EVERYTHING in these nightmares Leon. I sure wish you could experience them like I do.

WE KNOW YOU DID IT LEON GAULIN…WE KNOW IT. I KNOW WITH ALL OF MY HEART AND SOUL YOU RAPED ME, THAT EVERYTHING I SAID YOU DID TO ME THAT NIGHT, THAT NIGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO KEEP ME SAFE FROM HARM, THAT YOU FORCED ME INTO DOING THINGS THROUGH YOUR FUCKING PERVERSE USE OF YOUR PSYCHOTIC RELIGION. YOU RAPED ME LEON GAULIN, YOU SUCKED MY DICK TO SUCK THE DEMON OUT OF ME, YOU FORCED ME TO SUCK YOUR DICK TO TAKE YOUR SACRED SACRAMENT AND THEN YOU RAPED ME ANALLY WHILE FORCING ME TO DO PENNANCE WHILE YOU THREATENED ME WITH THE FIRES OF HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY IF I TOLD ANYONE ABOUT YOUR SPECIAL HEALINGS.

YOU PROVED YOUR DAMN GUILT THE MOMENT YOU DISCONNECTED YOUR PHONE AND PUT YOUR HOUSE UP FOR SALE IN MAINE AND LEFT FOR FLORIDA WITH YOUR HUSBAND, ESPECIALLY RIGHT AFTER THE INVESTIGATOR SAW YOU.

Here is my whole point of this Leon Gaulin and St Thomas More parish and all of you there, and to the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophiles along with that nasty, disgusting Bill Pig Face Donohue of the Catholic League.

ALL OF THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING YOUR ACTIONS HAVE CAUSED ME? I DON’T WANT IT ANYMORE!!! I DON’T WANT THE NIGHTMARES, I DON’T WANT ALL THIS EVIL YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO ME AND SCREWED MY LIFE WITH. I AM NOT THE DEMON, I AM NOT THE SATAN, I AM NOT THE ONE WHO WILL BE BOUND TO YOUR HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY. NO, NO MORE YOU LOW LIVES….NO MORE YOU SCUM….NO MORE YOU PEDOPILES, YOU DEFENDERS OF PEDOPHILES AND YOU WHO DARE CALL THEM HOLY MEN OF GOD!!!! NO MORE DO YOU FREAKING UNDERSTAND ME!!!

ALL OF THIS, ALL OF THIS EVIL YOU BROUGHT INTO MY LIFE, ALL OF THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING, ALL OF THIS TORMENT, ALL OF IT…..NOW BELONGS TO YOU LEON GAULIN, TO YOU THE OTHER PRIESTS OF ST THOMAS MORE WHO PARTICIPATED IN MY RAPE, ALL OF YOU PARISHIONERS OF THAT PARISH WHO STAND UP AND DEFEND THEM, ALL OF YOU PEDOPHILE PIMPS, LIKE CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ET AL, AND YOU BILL DONOHUE OF THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE….ALL OF THIS IS NOW YOURS!!!!

YOU WILL ALL NOW SUFFER JUST LIKE I HAVE BECAUSE OF YOUR ACTIONS AGAINST ME. YOU ALL WILL NOW RECEIVE ALL THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING YOU CAUSED ME IN YOUR LIVES. ALL OF IT…..AND ALL THAT GOOD YOU ALL GET? THE BEING FED, HOUSED AND NEVER HAVING TO WORRY AGAIN ABOUT THOSE THINGS? NOW COME TO ME.

ALL OF THIS EVIL NOW RETURNS TO YOU ALL A HUNDRED FOLD. A THOUSAND FOLD. YOU ALL WILL NOW SUFFER THE NIGHTMARES I HAVE. YOU ALL WILL NOW SUFFER THE GUILT, THE PAIN AND THE EVIL I HAVE….IT NOW ALL BELONGS TO YOU. IT NOW ALL BELONGS ON YOUR HEADS, ON YOUR HEARTS IN YOUR SOULESS BODIES.

I CURSE AND CONDEMN YOU ALL, UNDER THE POWER OF RIGHT AND GOOD AND BEAUTY!!! I CURSE ALL OF YOU FOR STEALING MY LIFE AND GIVING ME ONE OF INCREDIBLE PAIN AND SUFFERING. I CURSE ALL OF YOU WITH THE VERY SAME THINGS YOU ALL DID TO ME. ALL OF THIS EVIL IS NOW YOURS…A HUNDRED FOLD, A THOUSAND FOLD…AND IT IS NO LONGER MINE. I REFUSE IT, I REJECT IT, I SEND IT ALL YOUR WAY, NEVER TO RETURN TO ME EVER AGAIN IN THIS LIFE OR ANY OTHER.

YOU ALL STAND CONDEMEND…BY THE POWER OF LIGHT AND RIGHT…..YOU ALL STAND CONDEMEND BY MY OWN POWER OF BEING MY OWN GOD!!!! I SEND THIS TO ALL OF YOU, TO YOU LEON GAULIN AND TO YOUR DISGUSTING PRIESTLY PSYCHOPATHS WHO RAPED ME THAT NIGHT. I SEND THIS TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF MANCHESTER…FOR DENYING ME MY RIGHT TO JUSTICE. I SEND THIS TO THEIR LAWYER….WHO USED A DISGUSTING LAW TO AVOID PAYING FOR THE CRIMES OF RAPE AND TORTURE AGAINST ME. I SEND THIS TO BILL DONOHUE AND CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN AND ALL THE REST OF THE PEDOPHILE PIMPS OF THE UNHOLY CHURCH, WHO KNOWINGLY COVERED UP THESE CRIMES AND PROTECTED AND DEFENDED THE RAPIST OVER US.

I RETURN ALL OF THIS EVIL TO YOU ALL, A HUNDRED FOLD, A THOUSAND FOLD, FOR IT IS JUST AND RIGHT FOR ALL THE LIVES YOU HAVE  RUINED. FOR ALL THE CHILDREN RAPED, BEATEN, BRUTALIZED, FOR ALL THOSE YOU MURDERED, THROUGH YOUR FOUL DEEDS AND CRIMES. FOR ALL THE VICTIMS OF SUICIDE WHO KILLED THEMSELVES BECAUSE OF YOUR CHURCHES DISGUSTING ACTIONS I CONDEMN YOU ALL.

YOU STAND CONDEMEND BY THE LIGHT AND THE POWER OF A GOD YOU HAVE NO CLUE OR UNDERSTANDING OF. FOR I AM THAT GOD, AS ALL OF US ARE, AND I STAND IN THE LIGHT, NOT THE DARKNESS AS YOU DO AND I CONDEMN YOU ALL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO HUMANITY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD!!!!

YOU STAND CONDEMNED, UNTIL YOU ADMIT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE AND YOU PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES!!!! OR WHEN YOU DIE? YOU WILL FIND OUT THAT HELL IS REAL AND THAT IS WHERE YOUR SOULS WILL BE UNTIL YOU ADMIT THERE WHAT YOU DID WRONG AND PAY FOR IT. THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL YOUR SOULS BE RELEASED FROM THIS CURSE, THIS CONDEMNATION OF ALL OF YOU.

FOR I AM THE LIGHT, I AM NOT THE EVIL YOU ALL ARE….AND I NO LONGER ACCEPT YOUR JUDGEMENT OF MY BEING SO. I THROW THIS BACK AT ALL OF YOU, WITH POWER AND MIGHT AND LIGHT THAT NONE OF YOU CAN EVER OVERCOME OR DEFEAT. FOR YOU ARE CURSED BY THIS LIGHT, BY THIS POWER BECAUSE OF YOUR EVIL AGAINST CHILDREN AND AGAINST MANKIND. YOU ARE JUDGED EVIL BY THIS LIGHT AND AS SUCH, YOU MUST PAY FOR YOUR EVILS AGAINST THE WORLD.

YOU CANNOT OVERCOME THIS. THIS BELONGS TO ALL OF YOU AS YOUR KARMA. FOR AS YOU SOW….SO SHALL YOU REAP.

YOU SOWED HORROR, YOU SOWED PAIN AND SUFFERING, TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF US AS CHILDREN AND TEENS AND NOW IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN. NOW IT IS TIME, FOR ALL OF THIS HORROR, ALL OF THIS PAIN AND SUFFERING OF MILLIONS FALL ONTO YOUR SHOULDERS. ONTO YOUR HEADS AND INTO YOUR LIVES.

SO BE PREPARED LEON GAULIN AND ALL THE REST. CAUSE HELL IS COMING FOR YOU. PAIN AND SUFFERING WILL BE YOUR LOT. YOU ALL WILL LOSE EVERYTHING YOU HOLD DEAR….JUST LIKE YOU ALL DID TO US. YOU ALL WILL PAY FOR YOUR CRIMES AGAINST US. YOU WILL KNOW THIS WITH A FRIGHTENED HEART AND YOUR DEAD SOULS WILL KNOW IT TOO. YOU KNOW IT NOW.

SO ONE MORE TIME…..

ALL THE EVIL THAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME, ALL THE PAIN AND SUFFERING, ALL THE HORROR, ALL THE NIGHTMARES, AND THAT OF THE MILLIONS OF OTHERS SO HARMED BY YOUR DISGUSTING PEDOPHILES…..NOW LEAVES ME AND MY LIFE AND THEIR LIVES AND COMES TO YOURS LEON GAULIN, AND ALL THE REST OF YOU. FOR IT  IS NO LONGER MINE OR THEIRS….BUT YOURS.

SO MOTE IT IS….SO MOTE IT BE!!!!

Former Manchester chancellor received $170k a year after leaving diocese


Former Manchester chancellor received $170k a year after leaving diocese

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

May 07. 2013 8:03PM

From the link: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130508/NEWS/130509311

MANCHESTER – The former high-ranking Catholic Church official now under investigation for improper use of church funds earned a $169,900 salary at his job at a Maryland treatment facility, where he abruptly resigned last week.

The Rev. Msgr. Edward Arsenault earned the salary as president and chief executive officer of St. Luke Institute, residential and out-patient clinic for clergy, priests, nuns and brothers in need of mental health and spiritual treatment, wellness and educational programs.

On Monday, the Diocese of Manchester announced that it had suspended the priestly privileges of Arsenault while investigations proceed into possible illegal use of church funds and an inappropriate adult relationship on his part.

Just days before the announcement, Arsenault resigned the job at St. Luke, which he had held since October 2009. Arsenault has also resigned as chairman of the board of St. Luke Centre, a sister institution in Manchester, England.

The New Hampshire Union Leader accessed St. Luke’s financial statements through Guidestar.org, a website that tracks financial reports of tax-exempt institutions. The salary was for the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2011.

“Priests who hold executive positions in fields such as health care and academia typically are paid a salary commensurate with that field during their service,” said Susan Gibbs, a spokesman for St. Luke.

In its latest filing with the IRS, the organization reported annual revenues of $6.4 million. The non-profit organization describes itself as Catholic, run by a priest and a lay board. It treated about 500 patients in its last fiscal year, Gibbs said.

Gibbs said Arsenault maintains a home in the greater Washington, D.C., area.

Given the allegations against Arsenault, Gibbs said St. Luke’s has hired an outside firm to conduct a forensic audit of the organization. Annually, an outside firm audits St. Luke’s books and has found nothing amiss, Gibbs said.

“Just out of good stewardship, we are going to have another audit done,” Gibbs said.

The salary at St. Luke pales in comparison to what Arsenault earned as a New Hampshire priest. Even though Arsenault had extensive administrative responsibilities in the Diocese, his salary was $19,652 when he left New Hampshire for St. Luke, according to information provided by the Diocese.

Diocesan clergy take vows of chastity and obedience. Only priests who join orders, such as the Benedictines or the Franciscans, take vows of poverty.

The diocesan salary applies to priests working inside the Diocese, Donovan said. New Hampshire has two other priests who earn an outside salary; both are military chaplains and earn a salary based on their rank, he said.

“Priests don’t make a lot of money as priests, but if you’re the head of an institution – Boston College, Notre Dame – they make more than $20,000, $25,000,” Donovan said.

The previous president/chief executive at St. Luke, Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, earned $211,000 in the year before Arsenault’s arrival. He is taking the job of interim president.

Former Widener dean had abuse settlement in the past


Former Widener dean had abuse settlement in the past

Posted: January 05, 2013

Michael Ledoux , shown in 2001, is now living at a Franciscan facility in New York and can have no direct contact with the public. File Photograph

Michael Ledoux , shown in 2001, is now living at a Franciscan facility in New York and can have no direct contact with the public. File Photograph

 

A Widener University dean who is also a Franciscan priest resigned in July after school officials learned he had been accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy in the 1980s.

Michael Ledoux, 55, had worked at Widener for nine years, and in recent years supervised student teachers at the Widener Partnership Charter School, which has students from kindergarten through the seventh grade.

The accusation was reported in 2003 to church officials in New Hampshire, where Ledoux served more than two decades ago. Widener officials learned about it this past summer through a tip.

University president James T. Harris III told Ledoux he was placing him on administrative leave pending an investigation but Ledoux chose to resign, Widener spokesman Dan Hanson said. The university has found no evidence of complaints or improper behavior during Ledoux’s tenure there, Hanson said.

The accuser never pressed charges or pursued a lawsuit, but there was a settlement. Reached by e-mail, Ledoux, who now lives at a Franciscan facility in New York, declined to discuss the matter but maintained his innocence.

His case illustrates a thorny issue for schools, communities, and religious orders around Philadelphia and the country in the decade since the clergy sex-abuse scandal exploded. Credible allegations emerged against hundreds of priests or former priests, but more often than not, the accusations were too old to be prosecuted or litigated.

Many accused clerics had spent years or decades in or around schools, and were competent educators. Like other religious orders, the Franciscans run dozens of schools nationwide.

For universities, the issue is especially problematic in the aftermath of the Pennsylvania State University scandal involving Jerry Sandusky. Penn State faces multiple civil claims after the former assistant football coach was convicted of abusing 10 boys on and off campus.

Ledoux was hired by Widener in September 2003, less than a year after a lawyer representing his accuser told church officials and police in New Hampshire that the Franciscan abused the teen between 1986 and 1989, when he was associate pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas in Derry.

The Franciscans found his claim credible, and assured the victim and his lawyer that the priest would be stripped of his public ministries, according to Jim Geoly, a Chicago attorney for the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception. Geoly also said the Franciscans intended to restrict his access to minors.

That year, Ledoux ended up working at Widener with educators who knew nothing about his past.

Geoly said the Franciscans concede they should have made Widener aware of the accusation against Ledoux. He also noted that Widener did not seek information from the Franciscans before hiring him.

“They’re sorry,” Geoly said of his clients. “They acknowledged this was not done well. They understand now it would have been better if they had reached out to the university.”

Widener had no knowledge of the accusation against Ledoux until it received a tip last summer, Hanson said. Widener conducted a criminal-background check before Ledoux was hired and a child-abuse check when he became involved in the charter school, Hanson said. Both showed no problems, he said.

The allegation against Ledoux is cited in records compiled by the Diocese of Manchester, N.H. Those records were made public in 2009 and have since been posted on BishopAccountability.org, a website that catalogs records and allegations related to clergy sex abuse.

According to the site, a man in January 2003 reported that Ledoux performed oral sex on him once in the late 1980s and tried to other times in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Geoly said the boy was in the latter part of high school at the time of the alleged abuse.

Ledoux, who after leaving New Hampshire served as a high school and college administrator in Western Pennsylvania, denied the claim to The Inquirer. But the Franciscans found his accuser “credible,” their lawyer said.

“We believed him. We took him at his word,” Geoly said.

The man agreed to settle the case without legal action.

His lawyer, Carmen L. Durso, declined to discuss details of the settlement, but said the Franciscans assured his client that Ledoux would be assigned to a facility that serves aging members of the religious order and would have no access to minors.

“The only condition under which he was to leave that facility is if he was accompanied by someone else from the order,” Durso said last week.

Instead, Ledoux landed at Widener as an assistant professor of education.

Geoly said Ledoux pursued the position on his own.

“I’m disappointed to hear this was handled this way. I thought the Franciscans were doing a better job than anybody else I had dealt with,” Durso said. “If they had done what they said they were going to do, it would have been ideal.”

Widener is not a religious institution, and Ledoux’s job was not a Franciscan appointment. He did not wear a friar’s robe or priest’s collar on the job.

He later became director of Widener’s center for education and associate dean of the School of Human Service Professions. He most recently was acting dean of the relatively new School of Education, Innovation and Continuing Studies.

Since leaving Widener, Ledoux has been confined to a Franciscan monastery in Catskill, N.Y., and will have no access to minors, Geoly said. Were he to leave, he could be dismissed from the order, Geoly said.

“While there, if people from the public come on the property, he is not to have anything to do with them,” Geoly said. “He literally cannot function as a priest in public.”

In an e-mail to The Inquirer, Ledoux proclaimed his innocence.

“Although I would love to speak with you about my innocence in regard to the initial accusation, my clear child abuse and criminal records required for PA educators, and my vigilance in the safety and protection of children, my legal counsel has advised me against it,” Ledoux wrote.

Rocco P. Imperatrice III, the lawyer who reviewed the matter for Widener over the summer, emphasized that Ledoux’s responsibilities in connection with the charter were only administrative.

“He was never allowed unsupervised contact with any minor student,” Imperatrice said. “His contact at the charter with any students would have been almost none.”

Imperatrice said he interviewed all administrators and supervisors who had contact with Ledoux. He also talked with Derry police and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.

The university did not make charter school parents aware of the allegation because there had been no evidence of a complaint or problem, he said.

“If there had been an allegation or a suspicion or a complaint, that would have most certainly been done,” Imperatrice said.

Widener officials declined to comment on what action they would have taken if Ledoux had not resigned. Imperatrice said the situation in general is difficult.

“Obviously for all colleges and universities, any institution of higher education, given today’s social and political climate, there has to be a zero tolerance for individuals who have allegedly committed these types of offenses,” he said.

Ledoux, Imperatrice said, should have disclosed the allegation to Widener during the hiring process.

Ledoux apparently moved to the area in 2000 when he took a job at Neumann University in Aston. He served as an associate professor and director of the Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies from August 2000 to May 2002, said Steve Bell, Neumann’s spokesman.

Neumann gave very positive references for Ledoux, according to Widener officials.

Bell, the Neumann spokesman, said Neumann had not been aware of the allegation against Ledoux.

The case illustrates that relying on criminal background checks when looking at the record of a priest or former priest may not be enough.

“Ninety percent, maybe even a higher percentage, of people who are perpetrators in the cases I’m involved in don’t have a criminal record,” Durso said.

Bishop John McCormack files: Bishop offers apology to parents of a Shanley accuser


Bishop John McCormack files: Bishop offers apology to parents of a Shanley accuser

By Matt Carroll         Boston (MA) Globe         June 4, 2002

Manchester, N.H. — Bishop John B. McCormack apologized yesterday to the parents of a Newton man who allegedly was abused by the Rev. Paul         R. Shanley, a onetime Newton pastor who was investigated by McCormack for making past statements endorsing sex between men and boys.

Paula and Rodney Ford, the parents of Gregory Ford, said at a news conference that McCormack spoke to them directly at his deposition here, delivering an apology they described as “awkward” and unconvincing. “He apologized and said he was sorry for what happened,” said Paula Ford.

McCormack, who was a top deputy to Cardinal Bernard F. Law before being named bishop of the Manchester Diocese three years ago, made a brief statement after nearly six hours of sworn pretrial testimony in a lawsuit filed by the Fords.

“I tried to answer as thoroughly, as completely, and as honestly as I could,” said McCormack, who declined to take questions from reporters.

Shanley was arrested last month, accused of raping Paul Busa during the 1980s, when Busa was a child attending religion classes at the now-closed St. John the Evangelist Church in Newton. Shanley has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Roderick MacLeish Jr., the attorney for the Fords in their civil suit against Shanley and Law, is today expected to release copies of approximately         1,000 pages of church documents concerning alleged sexual abuse by 11 priests. MacLeish gained access to the documents through the lawsuit in         an attempt to show a pattern of negligent supervision of priests accused of sexual misconduct.

MacLeish is also scheduled to take pretrial testimony from Law in the Ford case tomorrow and again on Friday.

Meanwhile, Bishop Robert J. Banks, another former Law deputy who is now bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisc., will be deposed today by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who is representing 86 alleged victims of convicted pedophile and former priest John J. Geoghan.

Yesterday, Rodney Ford said he found it difficult to sit through McCormack’s deposition.

“It was one of the most painful days of my life,” said Ford, adding that it was particularly difficult to hear McCormack say that in some cases he never informed alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse that he had discovered they were telling the truth.

McCormack wrote to Shanley about a letter from a New York woman who said Shanley had advocated man-boy love, and asked the priest for an explanation. The Fords also said that during his deposition McCormack said he did not have access to documents in what the bishop called a “secret archive” at the archdiocese.

A transcript of McCormack’s deposition will be made public after a Middlesex Superior Court judge holds a hearing to determine when the transcript should be filed.

At the news conference with the Fords, MacLeish, who has repeatedly condemned the archdiocese this year for hiding the extent of sexual abuse among priests, also criticized a Globe report yesterday that said he and other lawyers secretly settled claims against many priests during the 1990s,         all of them individual settlements that had the cumulative effect of masking the extent of the problem. “The last thing we were doing was keeping anything quiet,” said MacLeish.

In an interview last night, MacLeish said he brought the extent of the problem to the attention of Boston news organizations almost a decade ago, but insisted that reporters were uninterested in pursuing the issue.

In December 1993, the Boston Herald and then the Globe quoted MacLeish saying he had brought sexual abuse claims involving 20 priests and 28         alleged victims to the Boston Archdiocese.

In the articles, MacLeish praised the archdiocese for removing the unnamed priests from service, saying the church had done a “commendable job” of handling the issue.

In a letter to the archdiocese’s lawyer less than three months earlier, MacLeish raised complaints against 17 priests, and said that just two of them may have had “potentially hundreds of other” victims.

“It is clear that these cases together reflect a systemic pattern of abuse within the archdiocese and an alarming pattern of institutional negligence on a disturbingly large scale,” MacLeish wrote in the Sept. 27, 1993, letter to Wilson Rogers Jr., the church’s attorney.

The 24-page letter contains extensive details about the specifics of the sexual abuse by the priests. Many of their names, and the allegations,  did not become public until this year. MacLeish made the letter public yesterday, he said, because it shows that he and his clients, in addition to seeking monetary settlements, also wanted the archdiocese to ensure that the priests would no longer have access to children. In the letter, MacLeish told Rogers he wanted to have the claims mediated, which was done in private.

Asked last night why he did not make the letter public in 1993, or file lawsuits to get the matter before the public, MacLeish said he did not take those steps because of a need to protect the victims, and because caps on liability for charities like the church made lawsuits less attractive than negotiated settlements.

When the Globe reported on Jan. 31 this year that the Boston Archdiocese had secretly settled claims involving more than 70 priests in the last         decade, MacLeish disclosed that his law firm accounted for more than 50 priests.

Philip Saviano, a victim of clergy sexual abuse who hired MacLeish to represent him in the early 1990s, said the lawyer did not go far enough a decade ago to expose the problem.

“What I’m saying is, whether [MacLeish] sees it this way or not, he was part of the big web of secrecy,” said Saviano, who is director of the New England chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “Maybe he thinks he took steps to protect kids, but ultimately I’d say he didn’t go nearly as far as he should have.”

MacLeish, who represented more than 100 victims of former priest James R. Porter in the Fall River Diocese 1992, said the attention to that case         and the subsequent private claims he filed against the Boston Archdiocese forced the church to create new policies and remove priests.

Bishop John McCormack files: Church covered up 4 decades of abuse


Bishop John McCormack files: Church covered up 4 decades of abuse

By Tom Mashberg and Jack Sullivan         Boston (MA) Herald         June 5, 2002

Documents on 10 suspended clerics released yesterday put Bernard Cardinal Law, three subordinates and even the late Richard Cardinal Cushing at the center of a broad effort to hide the truth about clergy abuse from parishioners, victims and the public.

The damaging new documents on the suspended clerics also reflect unfavorably on the oversight of priests under the long-lionized Cushing as well as Law’s predecessor, the late Humberto Cardinal Medeiros.

“What we now have before us is a four-decade-long pattern of protecting, harboring and covering up for known child molesters,” said attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr., who released the files and is to depose Law today.  “To claim any more that these are isolated cases is absurd.”

The Rev. Christopher R. Coyne, spokesman for Law, conceded yesterday that the latest batch of documents was damaging to his besieged archdiocese. “Once again, it was part of the protective culture of the church of the time,” Coyne said, “and forgetting . . . that the first thing has to be the protection of children.

“It’s going to take a long time to Recover the credibility we’ve lost,” he added.

Included in the files is a three-page handwritten 1993 Law memo in which he details why he let Rev. Eugene M. O’Sullivan be shifted in 1985 to  a diocese in New Jersey – even though O’Sullivan had been convicted of raping an Arlington altar boy just a year earlier.

“Boston was not acceptable because of possible scandal,” Law wrote in the 1993 memo, which he apparently prepared after the Associated Press and other news media contacted the chancery about O’Sullivan’s criminal past. “While assignment of a priest under these circumstances is arguable, our present policy does not permit it.”

Nonetheless, after O’Sullivan was bounced from Metuchen, N.J., because of his Bay State convictions, he was allowed by Law to wear his clerical collar for 17 more years – and even served formally at Carney Hospital in Dorchester. The lengths to which Law himself went to assure new priestly duties for O’Sullivan and two other longtime problem pastors – the Revs. Ernest E. Tourigney and Daniel M Graham – are just some of the troubling personnel moves outlined in the files, obtained by MacLeish as part a pretrial investigation of the Rev. Paul R. Shanley.

Other revelations included in the long-hidden files are these:

– Embattled Bishop John B. McCormack of Manchester, N.H., denied over and over to parishioners that Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham was a threat to molest minors, even though Birmingham’s personnel file showed evidence of abuse starting under Cushing in 1964. In April 1987, in his capacity as Law’s secretary for ministerial personnel, McCormack reviewed an emotional inquiry about Birmingham from a male parishioner at St. Ann’s Church in Gloucester. The parishioner, whose son, then 13, was an altar boy under Birmingham, said he learned that Birmingham had been removed from his parish for molesting children, and that the priest had soon after fallen into “poor health.”

Because Birmingham had also preached about AIDS, and was rumored to have engaged in risky sexual practices, the parishioner wrote: “I am concerned about the AIDS situation, and about a priest possibly molesting my son.”  He asked Law for an explanation. In answer, McCormack wrote that Law had received the letter and asked McCormack to investigate. McCormack then wrote: “I have contacted Father Birmingham and . . . he assured me there is absolutely no factual basis for your concern regarding your son and him. . . . I feel he would tell me the truth . . . in this matter.”

Birmingham died wasting away from cancer in 1989. Some 40 men have come forward in recent months to file lawsuits against him for abuse, and church files quote him admitting several times under questioning to “sexual improprieties.” Gary Bergeron of Lowell, a Birmingham accuser, said yesterday: “Page after page shows they all knew he was a molester a full decade before he abused me and my brother, but did nothing. It’s incredible to see how  these `men of God’ let this go on for so long.”

– The files mark the first clear indications Cushing engaged in cover-ups. The Herald reported last month that Medeiros was deeply implicated in         efforts to hide the depredations of defrocked and jailed pedophile James R. Porter. In a letter dated Oct. 1, 1964, a Marshfield couple wrote to Cushing detailing the sexual abuse of their 12-year-old son by O’Sullivan at St. Ann’s Church in Marshfield. In the letter, the couple told Cushing that O’Sullivan had fondled their son, an altar boy, several times that summer. They also informed Cushing of at least four other altar boys who spoke of being sexually abused by O’Sullivan. The couple said they had reported the incidents to the church pastor, who said he would relay their concerns to the archdiocese. The couple later found out the pastor had not followed through. That is when they wrote to Cushing.

“We are taking the liberty of reporting directly to you . . . trusting that you in your wisdom will know best how best to handle the matter,” the couple wrote Cushing.

Shortly after, O’Sullivan was transferred to Our Lady’s Parish in Waltham. That same year, similar accusations were levied, and he was again transferred, next to Point of Pines Church in Revere. An unsigned memo from 1964 acknowledges allegations against O’Sullivan and noted a three-week vacation was arranged beginning June 16, 1964, until July 6, 1964.

“Informed (O’Sullivan) that we would transfer him, effective approx. July 9,” the note states.

And despite Law’s insistence in his 1993 memo there were “no previous reports” of accusations on O’Sullivan, an internal memo from “T.J.D.” to Bishop Alfred Hughes confirmed the O’Sullivan problem. “As far as I can see there is no evidence of treatment following the events of 1964, just transferred etc. . . .,” the memo states.

– Regarding Father Graham, removed in February from St. Joseph’s in Quincy, the papers show he was assigned a “mediator” in 1988 by Bishop         Robert J. Banks, now of Green Bay, Wis., a Law aide who was deposed yesterday for his role in the Boston scandal.

The mediator was Shanley, now awaiting trial on three counts of child rape, who acted as middle-man between Graham and the accuser. Shanley         referred Graham to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), a program for sexual addictions loosely based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

“With Fr. Paul Shanley’s help I have discovered a helpful support group, S.L.A.A.,” Graham wrote to his victim. “Meetings are helpful to keep ones sexuality in check.”

Graham was cleared by church officials to resume parish ministry, but in 1992 was charged once again with abusing minors. In a 1996 letter to         Graham, Law offered him a dispensation from Law’s 1993 rules governing  molester priests so that he could resume parish work.

– The documents also further the evidence that Medeiros allowed pedophile priests to remain in the ministry and transferred rather than disciplined them.

In 1973, Medeiros approved the request of Rev. Ernest E. Tourigney to take a post as student chaplain at Catholic University in Washington.         Medeiros knew Tourigney had been transferred to St. Mary’s in Holliston after accusations of molestation at Immaculate Conception Church in Weymouth.

In his letter to Medeiros requesting the post, Tourigney said his stay at St. Mary’s helped “alleviate a long-term difficult situation with the parish, which I have tried to do to the best of my ability.”

“During my years as a priest, I have worked with the youth both on a parish and deanery level,” he wrote. “It is the type of work I enjoy doing the most, find most rewarding and feel most qualified in doing.” The records indicate there were at least eight victims who accused Tourigney of sexually assaulting them. Still, McCormack and Law gave him new slots.

– One of the more sordid tales to emerge from the papers involves accused predatory priest Richard O. Matte. A man alleges he was abused by Matte after he went to the cleric about being sexually abused by another priest at various places, including drug dealers’ houses in the early-1980s.

According to a letter to church lawyers from Robert A. Sherman, the victim’s attorney and MacLeish’s partner, the then-14-year-old boy was the victim of “violent sexual abuse” by the Rev. Richard Buntel from 1979 to 1985. Both Buntel and Matte were assigned to St. Joseph’s Church in Malden.

The victim claimed Buntel befriended him and introduced him to alcohol and marijuana, later feeding him cocaine and exposing him to “violent         pornography.”

“On one occasion, two drug dealers associated with Fr. Buntel urged Fr. Buntel to make a pornographic film of him sexually assaulting (the         victim),” Sherman wrote. “(The victim) does not know if this film was ever made.”

Bishop John McCormack files: Complaints didn’t dim bishop’s faith in priests


Bishop John McCormack files: Complaints didn’t dim bishop’s faith in priests Papers shed light on McCormack’s role

From Bishop Accountability.

Original story appeared in the Concord Monitor.

By Annmarie Timmins and Amy McConnell         Concord (NH) Monitor         June 6, 2002

http://www.cmonitor.com/stories/front2002/local/documents060602_2002.shtml

Bishop John McCormack has said little about his work handling allegations  of clergy sexual abuse for the Archdiocese of Boston other than that he mishandled some of the cases. Nearly 1,000 pages of internal church documents  involving 10 accused priests released Tuesday provide a better understanding  of his role.

McCormack dealt with dozens of difficult allegations with a mixed record, moving priests quickly out of their assignments but showing leniency for some even as the accusations mounted. The files aren’t complete, however, and it is unclear how the church ultimately resolved each case.

McCormack declined to comment for this story through his spokesman, Pat McGee, saying he had not looked at the documents in nearly a decade.

In most cases, McCormack responded to allegations by questioning the priest, asking his staff to question the alleged victims and then immediately sending the priest for treatment to one of two centers the archdiocese favored.

The exception was the case of Father Ernest Tourigney, where the alleged  victims complained of McCormack’s dallying response.

It is also clear that during treatment and after, McCormack was unfailingly  supportive of the accused priests, even deciding against trying to remove  one because he didn’t want to upset him. In another case, he concluded  one parent’s concerns were unfounded simply because McCormack knew the accused priest and believed his denials. Here is a closer look at what the files in six of the cases show about  McCormack’s involvement:

 Joseph Birmingham

Last month, McCormack said publicly that he’d mishandled cases of sexual abuse allegations during his time in the archdiocese. Among those, he said, was the case of Joseph Birmingham.

The files show that the church had been receiving complaints of sexual misconduct against Birmingham since 1964. One came from a priest. In 1987, according to the church records, Birmingham resigned for health reasons and went to therapy.

Two months later, Cardinal Bernard Law asked McCormack to respond to a parent who had heard rumors of Birmingham’s misconduct and was worried about his own son, who had been an altar boy for Birmingham.

McCormack knew Birmingham well. The two had been in a seminary together and had served together at a Salem, Mass., parish. McCormack had also  heard allegations before.
In April 1987, McCormack followed up on Law’s request and asked Birmingham about the allegations. He wrote back to the parent.
“He assured me there is no factual basis to your concern regarding your son and him,” McCormack wrote. “From my knowledge of Father Birmingham and my relationship with him, I feel he would tell me the truth and I believe he is speaking the truth in this matter.”

McCormack discouraged the man from raising the issue with his son, but he offered the number of the church’s counselors if the father decided otherwise.

Birmingham died in 1989. The archdiocese, McCormack in particular, continued  to receive complaints of sexual misconduct against him. Today, nearly  40 men have accused him of abuse.

A lawyer for one victim has accused McCormack of covering up the abuse  and helping transfer Birmingham around as the allegations mounted. McCormack  has said he had no role in assigning or moving priests while working in Boston.

Ronald Paquin

In 1981, Father Ronald Paquin crashed his car on Interstate 93 in Tilton  after spending a weekend with four teenage boys in a Bethlehem cabin.  One boy died.

The police report concluded that Paquin had fallen asleep at the wheel.  Two months ago, the parents who lost their son filed a wrongful death suit against the church claiming Paquin fell asleep because he’d been up the previous night drinking and having sex with one or more of the boys.

There is almost no mention of the accident in the church files released  this week. The files do contain notes and memos on nearly 20 allegations that came to the archdiocese against Paquin between 1990 and 2000.

At least eight of those victims came forward when McCormack worked in  Boston. Paquin admitted some of the abuse, acknowledged his sexual attraction  to boys and showed no empathy for his victims, according to internal church  records.

McCormack’s response to the allegations was to send Paquin for treatment, assign him a mentor and restrict his ministry so he wasn’t serving with  children.

“I told (Paquin) that it was important for him to go to (treatment)  because of the civil liabilities of the archdiocese and our moral obligations to the parishioners involved,” McCormack wrote in Paquin’s file in  June 1990. Still, complaints continued to come to McCormack that Paquin was spending  time alone with boys. McCormack asked Paquin about the allegations and  recommended continued treatment and restricted ministry.

“I think there is a serious concern how he has expressed his care and concern for young boys,” McCormack wrote in Paquin’s file in September 1990. “It seems to be from mixed motives. It seems that         he does have a true concern for them, but also he has his own needs of affection which get expressed in unhealthy ways.”

McCormack put Paquin on sick leave and sent him to Maryland for treatment. “I told him the archdiocese wants to help him in every way.”

McCormack also met with concerned parishioners from Paquin’s church. He took their concerns to Paquin and asked Paquin how he planned to change his ways. He noted Paquin’s response, including a plan to stop allowing boys to sleep in his bed.

Six months later, Paquin was nearing the end of his treatment in Maryland, and McCormack was preparing to put Paquin back to work, perhaps doing hospital or nursing home ministry.

“We agreed that he is not free to work with young people,” McCormack wrote, “even though there is very little, if any, concern about his  acting out impulsively.”

McCormack assigned Paquin to live in a Massachusetts parish and found him work at a hospital. Meanwhile, allegations about Paquin’s past abuse and current behavior came to the archdiocese. A priest, among others, reported that Paquin was visiting boys from his former parish.

In March 1994, an aide asked McCormack whether the archdiocese could do more than simply offer counseling to the victims who called. Internal church documents show that officials believed it was likely there were  more victims than had come forward.

“Should we be making some kind of contact with any place Ron Paquin has been stationed?” Father John Dooher wrote. There is no indication in the church documents that McCormack responded or that the archdiocese pursued that recommendation.

Three months later, in June 1994, McCormack and his review board, which helped him decide the fate of accused priests, concluded that Paquin should be banned from public ministry and suggested that Paquin ask to be removed from the priesthood. Paquin refused, and neither McCormack nor the review board insisted. In the next six years, after McCormack had left the archdiocese, the review board urged Paquin to remove himself from the priesthood three more times.   He refused each request.

By 2000, the last date noted in the church records released, the archdiocese had received 20 complaints against Paquin.

John Hanlon

The case of Father John Hanlon is unlike the others in that it is the only one that was investigated by the police. The records do not say how  the police became involved, but by the time McCormack entered the picture in August 1993, Hanlon was headed to a criminal trial.

McCormack’s name appears on just one memo in the case. In August 1993,  he summarized the allegations against Hanlon for the church’s personnel  files and noted that he asked fellow priests to help him reach the alleged  victim.

“We want to be of help to the young man as well as to take whatever  steps need to be taken to address this matter,” McCormack wrote.

Hanlon was convicted in a Massachusetts court in March 1994 of two charges of rape and two charges of assault with intent to rape. He was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.

Paul Mahan

McCormack took five allegations of sexual misconduct to Father Paul Mahan in August 1993 and listened as Mahan said he was innocent. Still, McCormack told Mahan he’d have to be assessed and go on administrative leave.

Law asked McCormack to follow up on the suggestion of one victim’s parent that the church do more to support parents. The parent suggested a support group just for parents of victims.

“It is my hope that we can gather in church and through prayer and worship have a further opportunity to ask God to be with us in these difficult  days,” Law wrote to the parent.

The file does not indicate whether McCormack followed up.

In October 1994, nearly a year after McCormack first approached Mahan, he received a report from another priest who was concerned that Mahan  had his young nephew and two young friends living with him in his Massachusetts  home.  McCormack told Mahan that had to end. But McCormack did not initially ask the boys whether they had been harmed. McCormack, who had a master’s degree in social work by this time, thought to do so after a doctor suggested it.

An unsigned memo in the file shows that church officials contacted a state social worker to help them interview the boys and discussed the possibility of reporting any findings to the state.

 Ernest Tourigney

When McCormack was told in June 1992 that Father Ernest Tourigney needed six months of psychiatric treatment, the priest had allegedly molested at least three boys – one of them for eight years – in several Massachusetts  parishes, according to church documents.

In late June, Law and McCormack met with several alleged victims, who  later told McCormack the archdiocese was operating in a “circle the wagons” mentality. At that meeting, Law and McCormack told victims   that Tourigney would not return to parish work, according to their letter.

But the archdiocesan response was too slow and meager for a victim named  James, who hired a lawyer.

“However, even though Fr. Tourigney was allowed to remain a Priest,his behavior was not addressed and my client was totally ignored,”   wrote the lawyer. “He was not comforted or offered counseling. He  was neglected and made to believe that the Church had no compassion or desire to confront Fr. Tourigney and remove him from contact with Parishioners.”

Two months later – and eight months after their initial meeting with Law and McCormack – Tourigney’s victims still weren’t satisfied by the archdiocese’s actions. McCormack, they said, had promised the matter would be resolved  in a meeting with Tourigney just after the holidays.

“We are into February, and while he vacations on the Cape, the Archdiocese is rife with indecision,” said their letter of February 1993. “On a recent trip to Boston, I and (name blocked out) phoned your office.   I left an urgent message of my itinerary, stated when I would be leaving,  and asked to hear from you. It is now February 20, 1993 and neither I  nor (name blocked out) have heard a word from you.”

More than a month later, McCormack tried to set up a meeting between Law  and one of the victims. The victim, McCormack said, wanted to voice his  concerns about how the archdiocese handled priests who had admitted to  sexual abuse.

“You may recall that after (Tourigney) was assessed at Southdown  for these matters he was returned to parish ministry,” McCormack wrote in March 1993. “Mr. (name blocked out) cannot get over this and wants to make sure that you and I and anyone who was responsible realizes  that this should not happen again. I think it might be helpful in his  healing process to meet with you for a half hour some time with me.”

By May 1993, Tourigney had been placed on administrative leave. But that’s not all his victims wanted of the archdiocese. The archdiocese needed  to begin handling sexual abuse by priests as a criminal matter and creating investigative teams to find other abused children, they wrote to McCormack  in August 1993. The church’s reluctance to do so appeared to be based on “potential  negative political ramifications,” they stated.

By the next spring, archdiocesan officials had become skeptical that their  containment and supervision of Tourigney had reformed his urges. Tourigney,  one official advised McCormack, should be asked to leave the priesthood  for private life – even though he might pose a risk to the public.

“Then he would be free to accept such offers as he sees fit,” the official wrote in May 1994. “It is not a happy solution, because  it leaves him as a potential danger to young men, but perhaps the seriousness of the invitation might get him to think of more effective ways to deal  with his problem.”

No records indicate whether Tourigney left the priesthood or where he lives today.

Richard Matte

In 1992, McCormack summarized three allegations of sexual misconduct against Father Richard Matte – one of which came from a concerned priest – and admitted he was unsure how to proceed.

Matte denied the accusations but volunteered that he’d been falsely accused  years before. The case had never been resolved, but Matte said he had  gone for treatment.

“I am not sure what side to support in the understanding of Father Matte’s behavior,” McCormack wrote in Matte’s personnel file. “Part of me sees him as being very indiscreet. He also speaks about not remembering  things. Then I wonder whether he is denying.”

McCormack sent Matte to a Maryland treatment center for an assessment. The file does not include the center’s response, but by the time an additional allegation came to McCormack’s office in April 1993, Matte was at a Canadian treatment center the church used often.

In a letter to Matte, McCormack relayed the new allegations and offered  support. “I am sure this report will be upsetting to you, Dick,” he wrote. “If there is something I can do to help, Dick, let me know.  You are in my prayers.”

McCormack continued to offer support, even deciding against asking Matte to remove himself from the priesthood for fear he was already too emotionally  unstable. At the time, McCormack knew Matte had told doctors the accusations weren’t entirely untrue, according to the records.

McCormack and his review board decided in November 1993 that Matte should find a counselor and work outside of public ministry. They would not put him in a parish or in a role where he’d be near adolescent males.

In May 1994, McCormack took two more allegations to Matte and noted in the file that Matte was devastated. Again he was supportive.

Matte didn’t like the place McCormack had found for him, so McCormack offered to keep looking. “He has to park his car on the street,” McCormack wrote. “He is fearful it could be stolen or damaged.”

Matte’s file ends with an April 1998 memo detailing another complaint from a man who said Matte’s abuse had made it impossible to have a close relationship with his son and wife. “He is . . . afraid that maybe he can never change, even though he wants to,” wrote the nun who spoke with him.

Diocese names 14 accused of abuse


Diocese names 14 accused of abuse

February 16, 2002|By Items compiled from Tribune news services

From the link: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2002-02-16/news/0202160202_1_diocese-names-priests-abuse

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — The Diocese of Manchester on Friday named 14 Roman Catholic priests accused of sexual misconduct with children from 1963-87.

The diocese, which covers New Hampshire, gave the names to prosecutors and the public after reviewing its internal records for reports of abuse.

Part 2

From the link: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2002-02-17/news/0202170242_1_priests-manchester-diocese-boston-archdiocese

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — In a reflection of the rising concern over alleged pedophile priests in the Roman Catholic Church, the Manchester Diocese’s bishop has announced the names of 14 priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children in the past, and it turned those names over to prosecutors.

“People wonder not only what has the church in New Hampshire done about this in the past, but also what is it doing to make the church safe for children in the future,” said Bishop John B. McCormack, whose diocese covers New Hampshire. “There have been instances in New Hampshire where priests have had inappropriate contact with children.”

Friday’s announcement came in the midst of a widening scandal over such priests in the Boston archdiocese. In January, Cardinal Bernard Law apologized for allowing a known pedophile to remain an active priest until the early 1990s.

In New Hampshire, one of the 14 priests named Friday was an active full-time priest. Six others were retired or sick but helped part time in parishes.