Letter Regarding Early Notice of Vallely Abuse
By Rev. Richard P. Rice
July 19, 2005
This is a transcription of a handwritten letter obtained by attorney Mitchell Garabedian in Vallely discovery and partially quoted in Bangor priest abused boys in 1950s, according to letter, by Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News (4/7/15). The article tentatively identifies the letter's addressee as the Rev. Marc Caron, co-chancellor of the diocese at the time the letter was written. Bishop Daniel J. Feeney, who is discussed in the letter, was coadjutor bishop 1952-1955 and bishop 1955-1969. The letter refers to "Sunday's article." Vallely was discussed in Substantial Evidence Led to Naming Nine Priests, Diocese Says, by John Richardson, Portland Press Herald, which appeared on Sunday
(7/17/05). It is not clear whether Rice is referring to this specific article. See also documents released by the Maine Attorney General in 2005 1 2.
Rice's phrase "when the news first broke in 1993" refers to revelations covered in the national press. See, for example, 3 Say Ex-Priest Abused Them, Orlando Sentinel (3/5/93).
ST. MARY’S CHURCH
144 Lincoln Street
Bath, Maine 04530-2198
[Date stamped] JUL 20 2005
July 19, 2005
Dear Marc: Some peace I hope!
Seeing Sunday’s article once again reminded me of something that I feel I should share with you.
When the first news broke in 1993 re James Vallely, I wrote a letter to him with prayer and encouragement. He responded with gratitude but also saying: “if such a memorable event occurred (between him and a youth), he would remember. He had no memory of such an action.
Sometime later, Fr. Dick Harvey and I were together. I commented upon Jim’s letter. Dick said: “Dick (only he called me that) Jim is in denial.” He then paused and finally said: Dick there were 1, 2, 3, 4, no, 5 boys who had confided to Dick of their abuse at St. Johns. He then told me, when Bishop Feeney arrived for confirmation, Dick asked him to walk with him on York St. and told him about this. Within a very brief time, Jim Vallely was transferred. I do not know the years, but such a transfer would indicate the time.
I write this to you so that if any young men from St. Johns at that period were in touch with the Diocese, this conversation with Dick Harvey might help validate their truthfulness and need.
Prayerful good wishes and healing for us all.
Richard P. Rice