PORTLAND (Jan 29, 2007): The following is the complete text of BishopRichard Maloneâ€™s statement regarding the release of the names of fourpriests accused of sexual abuse.
The last time I met with the press, I indicated I wasconsidering the need to release names of priests who in the past hadbeen accused of sexually abusing minors, and who had been removed fromministry but without public notification. It was common practice toremoving offending priests from ministry usually without publicnotification until the Dallas Charter took effect in 2002. Since then,all substantive complaints of sexual abuse of minors require that theaccused step down from ministry while an investigation takes place, andthat the parish community and the public are informed.
Ourdiocese has four cases involving diocesan priests removed from ministryprior to 2002 due to accusations of abusing minors that were admittedor sufficiently established and whose names have never been publicizedby the Diocese of Portland. The diocese did report all of theseindividuals to civil authorities.
Under the rulesof the Dallas Charter, it is also required that I request laicizationin each case. It is important to me that due process established by theHoly See is followed. Until today, our practice has been to inform thepublic only when Rome makes its final decision in each case.
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Insome instances, the process has taken longer than I had anticipatedâ€”infairness to the Vatican, many cases have been sent for adjudication;therefore, I am unsure how long it will be before all our cases areresolved. This being the case, I have become increasingly concernedabout the possible risk of re-offense in the cases of those who havenot been publicly identified. This possibility became a reality in theDiocese of Wilmington, Del. where an offending priest whose name hadnot been disclosed but who had been restricted years ago, was arrestedon a new charge just three months ago. Because of that, I haveconsulted at length with my advisors as well as the IndependentDiocesan Review Board and the Presbyteral Council, and I am nowconvinced that the time has come to release the names of the remainingpriests who were removed from ministry due to abuse allegations, whoseoffenses were admitted or sufficiently established.
Tomy knowledge there has never been publicity regarding theseindividuals: George W. Beaudet, 67, resides in-state. Beaudet wasaccused in the year 2000 and was removed from ministry that year, dueto abuse dating back to 1979. Additional complaints were received in2002.
Frederick A. Carrigan, 72, resides out ofstate. In 1989, he was sent for treatment for inappropriate conductwith adults. In 1990 his ministry was restricted and he took anassignment out of state with full disclosure to the diocese and theinstitutions where he worked. In 1991, he was accused of sexual abuseof a minor dating back to 1972, and was removed from all ministry in2002.
Michael L. Plourde, 56, resides in-state. Hewas sent for treatment in 1989 due to an allegation of inappropriateconduct with an adult. In 1990, his ministry was limited andrestrictions were imposed. He was accused by two minors in 1994 and wasremoved from ministry that year.
Ronald N. Michaud,60, his last known address was in state. He is a native of Maine whowas ordained for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Later, he requested tominister in Maine. In 1989, he was accused of sexual abuse of a minorinvolving an incident in Baltimore. He was sent for treatment and hasbeen restricted from ministry ever since. Subsequent complaints havebeen received. This case did receive publicity in Baltimore, but not inthe state of Maine.
Last March, I announced three final dispositions from Rome and today I have two more to report:
TheVatican has determined Peter P. Gorham, 79, who is currently in veryill health, will lead a life of prayer and penance. Gorham was firstaccused in 1995 regarding an offense dating back to 1953 and wasallowed to retire in 1996. He has had no further ministry and heresides in-state.
And 79-year-old Francis J. Kanealso has been assigned to a life of prayer and penance which is inaccord with the Dallas Charter for people of advanced age and illhealth. Kane was accused in 1986. His ministry was limited in 1987 andhe was restricted from all ministry in 1997.
Thereare a few cases to update which already have received past publicity:In the case of Thomas Lee, he maintains his innocence and requested acanonical trial. The Vatican has granted his request. Lee stepped downfrom ministry in 2003 when additional information was received on anearlier claim of sexual abuse that previously could not besubstantiated. He has been out of ministry since that time.
Inthe case of Rev. Jim Michaud, we have no proof there was sexual abuseagainst a person under the age of 18. But in the course of theinvestigation
information came forward regarding other misconduct that caused me to decide he should not have public ministry.
Inthe case of John Harris, information was received in 2003 alleginginappropriate behavior involving minors. During the investigation, noone ever stepped forward claiming to be a victim of sexual abuse.However, Bishop Joseph decided his behavior was such that he should nothave public ministry and Harris agreed. He is residing in Canada.
Therehas been previous publicity regarding Michael Doucette, MarcelRobitaille and Raymond Melville; those cases will be adjudicated by theHoly See.
Once again I want to express my profoundsorrow and sincere apology to all those who have been harmed by priestsand other representatives of the Church. And that includes first andforemost the sexual abuse victims, their grieving families and all thepeople of God who have been traumatized by the scandal including theoverwhelming majority of good priests. Lost childhoods, lost trust, andfor some, a crisis of faith have been the result. Those who perpetuatedthe abuse and those in the hierarchy who attempted to protect theChurch by keeping the crimes against children a secret, have harmed theChurch immeasurably.
I pray each day, and I hopeyou will join me, to ask that our heavenly Father will give us thewisdom, strength and resolve to confront the sins of the past withoutfear. Only by admitting failures and taking corrective action can trustand moral leadership be restored. We have done much in the past fiveyears toward that end, including improved outreach to victims,implementing an ethics policy for church employees and volunteers, andestablishing prevention and protection programs. I am hopeful thattodayâ€™s release will provide another step toward healing.
Inthat light, as a way to publicly declare repentance and expresssolidarity with the victims, I am designating Wednesday, March 21, 2007as a day of fasting and penance for myself, all clergy, religious andmembers of the laity who want to support victims of clerical sex abuse.
Once again, I want to take this opportunity toencourage anyone who has been abused by clergy or other churchrepresentative to make a report to the diocese or the police so thathelp can be offered to you.
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