Retired Monsignor Removed from Duties over Abuse Allegations

Associated Press
September 6, 2002

Manchester, NH - The Diocese of Manchester has revoked the ministerial rights of a retired monsignor after finding that allegations of sexual abuse made against him were credible.

Monsignor Roland Tancrede, who had been filling in at St. Pius X Church in Manchester may no longer perform Mass or wear his priestly collar, a spokesman for the church said Thursday.

The Rev. Edward Arsenault, chancellor for the diocese and pastor of St. Pius, has informed parishioners about the allegations, according to Patrick McGee, a spokesman for the church.

Tancrede is one of the priests named in three new lawsuits filed last week in Hillsborough County Superior Court on behalf of individuals alleging they were sexually abused as children by Roman Catholic priests.

An anonymous plaintiff alleges Tancrede abused him from approximately 1956 through 1959, while he was an altar boy at Holy Rosary Church in Rochester.

Mark Abramson, the complainant's lawyer, said Tancrede admitted to church authorities that the allegations were true. The diocese, however, would not address whether the monsignor admitted to sexual misconduct.

"He abused this boy in multiple ways at the rectory, on trips the priest took him on out of state and to Canada. And, he admitted it," Abramson said.

Tancrede, who could not be reached Thursday, is listed in the diocese's directory as a resident of St. John the Baptist Rectory in Manchester. He was ordained in 1947.

McGee said no other complaints had ever been made against Tancrede.

When the complaint was received this summer, Tancrede was placed on administrative leave, McGee said.

In addition to the lawsuit naming Tancrede, Abramson also filed lawsuits last week alleging that the Rev. Leo Landry assaulted a boy between 1969 and 1970 at St. Kieran's Church in Berlin.

Landry, who has been named in other suits, was a member of an order called the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata and was assigned to the Manchester Diocese, but was not a diocesan priest. According to the diocese, he left in 1972.

In the third case filed last week, former altar boy Ryan Metivier of Newfield, Maine, alleges he was abused by the Rev. Joseph Maguire, between the ages of 9 and 15 at St. Joseph's Church in Dover. Maguire, who is named in at least one other suit, was included on a list Bishop John B. McCormack released last February of 14 priests removed from duty because of abuse allegetions.

Abramson said Maguire, who reportedly lives in Hyannis, Mass., abused his client "well in excess of 100 times, in the rectory, in hotels and on what he called pilgrimages. He abused him everywhere they went, in every way imaginable."

The three recent lawsuits are among 54 Abramson has filed against the diocese. The church also faces a potential class action suit with about 50 members, plus a dozen more individual cases, for a total of about 120 individuals seeking damages from the church.

All of the plaintiffs' lawyers have been in negotiations with church lawyers in an effort to reach an overall settlement in the cases. None of the parties will discuss the details.


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