Recently Defrocked Priest Once Served in Sanford
By Ellen W. Todd
June 15, 2016
A Roman Catholic priest who once served at the former St. Ignatius Parish in Sanford has been dismissed by the Vatican following a charge of sexual abuse.
Antonin R. Caron, who retired in 1994, was an ordained priest for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and was an associate pastor at St. Ignatius Church in the 1970s. He was transferred to Waterville in 1978.
The Portland Diocese received a complaint regarding sexual abuse of a minor by Caron from an individual in November of 2012. The complainant reported that the sexual abuse occurred in the early 1980s.
After receiving the complaint, the Diocesan Office of Professional Responsibility conducted a full investigation and, as with every report of possible sexual abuse of a minor by a church representative, immediately notified public authorities. Upon completion of the investigation, the case was referred to the Diocesan Review Board, an independent review entity comprised mostly of lay people, which confirmed the findings of the Office of Professional Responsibility that the claim of abuse was substantiated, according to a news release from the diocese.
Subsequently, Bishop Robert P. Deeley sent Caronís case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, which has competence to determine the course of action to be taken in such cases.
The diocese investigates all allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. The removal of any church personnel from ministry due to such complaints is always publicized, the diocese said.
In a final decision from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, The Holy See has dismissed Antonin Caron from the clerical state "for a substantiated claim of sexual abuse of a minor."
Inasmuch as the decision of the Congregation has been confirmed by Pope Francis, it does not allow for any possibility of appeal. Dismissal from the clerical state means that Caron can no longer function or present himself as a priest.
Caron retired from active ministry due to medical reasons in 1994 and stepped down from all public ministry in 2010.
Caron was born in Lewiston and ordained to the priesthood in 1969. During his time in active ministry, he was assigned to Notre Dame Parish in Waterville; St. Margaret Parish in Old Orchard Beach; St. Mary Parish in Lewiston; St. Mary Parish in Presque Isle; St. Michael Parish in South Berwick; Cathedral Parish in Portland; St. Ignatius Parish in Sanford; Our Lady of Ransom Parish in Mechanic Falls; St. Gregory Parish in Gray; St. Mary Parish in Eagle Lake; and St. James Parish in Woodland.
Bishop Deeley encourages anyone who may have information about this or any case of sexual abuse of a minor by a church representative to contact civil authorities as well as Michael Magalski, Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Diocese of Portland, at (207) 321-7836 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.