STATEMENT ON REV. PAUL J. ARCHAMBAULT
Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield
March 29, 2016
The Diocese of Springfield has reached a settlement with an individual regarding their claim that while a minor they had been sexually abused by the late Rev. Paul J. Archambault whom they had known personally for many years prior to his ordination.
Based on the legal filings in this case, it now appears that after being confronted with these allegations in 2011, Rev. Archambault took his own life.
In light of this, the Diocese of Springfield now recognizes this victim’s allegation as credible and accordingly has added Rev. Archambault’s name to the official list of clergy with credible claims of abuse found on the diocesan website (http://diospringfield.org/wp-content/uploads/2016- List-of-accused-priests-for-website-1.pdf).
We are also asking parishes where Rev. Archambault was assigned, or conducted ministry, to issue a direct notification alerting those communities as to this finding.
These include Holy Name of Jesus, Chicopee, St. Mary, Hampden. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Northampton, St. Theresa, So. Hadley and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Springfield. We urge all victims of abuse, or those who may have knowledge of abuse, to always report these concerns to the appropriate law enforcement and child protective service agencies. We also encourage you to call the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 413-452-0624 or the confidential line at 1-800-842-9055 to report abuse by clergy or a person working for the Catholic Church. State law requires that abuse and/or neglect of a minor be reported to the MA Dept. of Children and Families at 1-800-792-5200 or through law enforcement.
BISHOP STATEMENT ON REV. PAUL J. ARCHAMBAULT
Today I have added the late Fr. Paul Archambault’s name to the list of clergy with credible allegations of abuse. This is yet another sad reminder of the pain and tragedy caused by these deliberate acts, which not only cause such tremendous harm to victims, their families and close acquaintances but also violates the trust of our people and impugns the integrity of the majority of clergy and religious who faithfully minister in the Catholic Church.
This matter was made even more sad and tragic by the fact that when faced with the consequences of his actions, Father Archambault elected to take his own life.
I want to extend to all victims my sincere apology for what they had to endure. I want to assure them and the entire community of my fervent resolve to continue to address this terrible plague upon our Church through our ongoing screening, education and awareness efforts. We must never let our guard down; rather we must all remain vigilant.
In this Year of Mercy, our church seeks forgiveness for the past actions of clergy as well as our failure to adequately address past abuse claims. And in the name of our local church I echo this request. Finally, let we reiterate the need for anyone who has an awareness of abuse, past or present, to step forward and report it to local law enforcement officials . And if this involves a member of the Catholic clergy or a person in ministry to the Catholic Church, I also ask that you report it to our confidential hotline, 1-800-842-9055.
List of Credibly Accused Clergy Within the Diocese of Springfield
The following is a listing of all diocesan priests, deacons, and religious order priests who have had one or more credible allegations of sexual abuse of a child made against them while they were living. This list includes former priests who left the priesthood prior to reports having been made.
All have had their faculties to function as clergy removed.
Laicized priests who had initially been placed under the sanctions of the Essential Norms*:
Alfred Graves Edward Kennedy Richard Lavigne Richard Meehan
Priests currently living under sanctions of the Essential Norms*:
Michael Devlin Richard Kirouac David Farland Francis Lavelle Ronald Wamsher
Deceased priests who had been placed under the sanctions of the Essential Norms*:
Paul Archambault Andre Corbin Clarence Forand John Koonz Charles Joseph Sgueglia Charles Sullivan Former priests: Albert Blanchard John R. Russell
Deacon permanently removed from ministry:
With regard to the matter of former Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupre, Church law dictates specifically that any allegations of misconduct brought against a bishop must only be addressed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
*Under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People’s “Essential Norms,” “when even a single act of sexual abuse by a priest or deacon is admitted or is established after an appropriate process in accord with canon law, the offending priest or deacon will be removed permanently from ecclesiastical ministry.”