|Bishop Releases Names of Accused Priests
Malone Changes Procedure Regarding Public Notification
January 28, 2007
Bishop Richard Malone is joining 14 other dioceses and archdioceses by adopting a policy of identifying priests who were removed from ministry before June of 2002 due to allegations of sexual abuse of minors, whose cases are still awaiting a final disposition from Rome. Today's announcement changes the previous policy whereby the names of the accused were released only after the Vatican's determination regarding laicization.
"In some instances the process has taken longer than I had anticipated," explained Malone. "I am unsure how long it will be before all our cases are resolved. This being the case, I have become increasingly concerned about the possible risk of re-offence in the cases of those who have not been publicly identified."
Since the Dallas Charter of 2002, all substantive allegations of sexual abuse of minors are publicized and active priests must step down during investigations of those complaints.
The following are priests who were removed from ministry prior to June of 2002 due to abuse allegations, whose cases are at the Holy See because they were admitted or sufficiently established. This is the first public notification of these cases:
• 67-year-old George W. Beaudet resides in-state. Beaudet was first accused in the year 2000 and was removed from ministry that year due to abuse dating back to 1979. Additional complaints were received in 2002.
• 72-year-old Frederick A. Carrigan resides out of state. He was accused in 1991 of abuse, his ministry was restricted, and then he was removed from all ministry in 2002.
• 56-year-old Michael L. Plourde resides in-state. He was accused by two minors in 1994 and was removed from ministry that year.
• 60-year-old Ronald N. Michaud—his last known address was in-state. There was publicity on this case in Baltimore, but not in the state of Maine. He was accused in 1989 of offenses that took place in Maryland and has been restricted from ministry since that time.
Also during today's news conference in Bangor, the Bishop announced two final decisions have been returned by the Vatican:
• 79 year old Peter P. Gorham, who is in very ill health, resides in-state. He was first accused in 1995 regarding an offense dating back to 1953, he retired in 1996 and has had no ministry since that time. He has been assigned a life of prayer and penance.
• 79 year old Francis Kane has also been assigned a life of prayer and penance which is in keeping with the Dallas Charter provisions for individuals of advanced age or ill health. Kane was accused in 1986. His ministry was limited in 1987 and he was restricted from all ministry in 1997.
Bishop Malone updated cases that previously were publicized:
• Thomas Lee has requested a canonical trial and the Vatican has granted it. Lee stepped down from ministry in 2003 when additional information was received on an earlier claim of sexual abuse that previously could not be substantiated. He has been out of ministry since that time.
• In the case of Fr. Jim Michaud, the diocese has no proof there was sexual abuse against a person under the age of 18. But in the course of the investigation information came forward regarding other misconduct that caused the bishop to decide he should not have public ministry.
• In the case of John Harris, information was received in 2003 alleging inappropriate behavior involving minors. During the investigation, no one stepped forward claiming to be a victim of sexual abuse. However, Bishop Joseph decided his behavior was such that he should not have public ministry and Harris agreed.
The bishop is encouraging anyone who has ever been abused by clergy or other church representative to make a report to the diocese or the police.
Priestly assignments for individuals who are being named publicly for the first time: George Beaudet served at Notre Dame, Waterville; St. Joseph, Portland; St. Theresa, Mexico; St. Mary, Westbrook; St. Gerard, Grand Isle; Notre Dame, Skowhegan; St. Patrick, Newcastle; St. Peter, East Millinocket; and St. Anne, Dexter.
Frederick Carrigan served at St. Mary, Bath; St. Joseph, Gardiner; St. Mary, Bangor; St. Thomas, Dover-Foxcroft; St. Peter, East Millinocket; St. Matthew, Hampden and St. Gabriel, Winterport.
Michael Plourde served at Holy Cross, Lewiston; St. Joseph, Biddeford; St. Hyacinth, Westbrook; St. Agatha, St. Agatha; St. Joseph, Sinclair; Holy Family, Daigle; St. Mary, Augusta; St. John, Winslow and at AMHI.
Ronald Michaud served at St. Ignatius, Sanford; St. Andre, Biddeford; St. Hyacinth, Westbrook; St. Joseph, Sinclair and Holy Family, Daigle.
Peter Gorham served at St. Joseph, Gardiner; St. Dominic, Portland; St. Joseph, Waterville; St. Mary, Bangor; St. Denis, Fort Fairfield; Sacred Heart, Lubec and St. Joseph, Ellsworth.
Francis Kane served at St. Joseph's, Portland; Christ the King, Hebron; St. Mary, Biddeford; St. Joseph, Lewiston; St. Joseph, Eastport; St. Ann Mission, Pleasant Point; St. Thomas, Dover-Foxcroft; St. Mary, Biddeford; and St. Bartholomew, Cape Elizabeth.
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