Vermont Diocese List of Credibly Accused Clergy Shows 2 with Western Mass. Ties; Allegations against Both Were Already Public
By Anne-Gerard Flynn
August 23, 2019
|Vermont's Roman Catholic Bishop Christopher Coyne speaks Thursday Aug. 22, 2019 in South Burlington, Vt., about a new report that found there were "credible and substantiated" allegations of the sexual abuse of minors against 40 priests in the state between 1950 and today. The report said all but one of the allegations occurred before 2000. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)|
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, which covers the state of Vermont, has posted the names of 40 priests it says had credible allegations of sexual abuse filed against them since 1950 by victims who were under 18 at the time of the alleged incidence.
The posting, which is said to contain more than two dozen names not previously made public, is the work of a seven-member committee appointed last October by Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne to review diocesan files to compile a list of priests with credible allegations, as many other dioceses have done.
The names of and allegations against two men with ties to Western Massachusetts who appear on the list have already been public for years.
Lawsuits previously settled by the diocese previously revealed accusations against Edward Paquette, who was laicized by the Vatican in 2009 and who has lived in Westfield, Mass. since 1978 when he had his faculties for ministry removed by then Vermont Bishop John Marshall.
Paquette grew up in Westfield, but never ministered in the Diocese of Springfield, though allegations of abuse were made against him here. He was ordained in 1957 for the Diocese of Fall River where he served until 1963 when he had his faculties for ministry removed in that diocese for similar reasons.
He underwent counseling and was hired for seven years by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, which now lists him with seven credible abuse allegations on its website. When he returned to Westfield, he appealed to Marshall to hire him in Vermont, citing counseling he underwent in Indiana. He ministered for six years in Vermont before numerous allegations of abuse forced Marshall to remove him from ministry.
In 2006, the Burlington diocese avoided a trial involving allegations that it allowed Paquette, despite having a known history of abuse, to minister in the diocese by settling a suit for $965,000 brought by one of Paquettes alleged victims. The case was one of many that named Paquette
In a 2009 interview with the Burlington Free Press, Paquette apologized to his victims, which he acknowledged included a family member he molested in Westfield during the 1950s.
Another name with Western Massachusetts ties on the list released Friday is George Paulin, whose birthplace is shown as Montague, Mass. He served from the time of his ordination in 1970 in Vermont through 2003, when he is said to have resigned as pastor.
Paul Babeu, formerly of Western Massachusetts, claimed Paulin sexually assaulted him in Vermont.
Babeu agreed to drop his lawsuit against the Burlington diocese in 2003 after a settlement was reached. The terms of that settlement, including the precise sum of money awarded to Babeu, were not publicly disclosed.
Babeu was also among the Western Massachusetts men who claimed they were sexually assaulted as children by Richard R. Lavigne, a former priest in the Springfield diocese.
Lavigne pleaded guilty in 1992 to molesting two former altar boys.
Babeu said in his suit against the Burlington diocese that at age 15 it was Lavigne who took him to northern Vermont and left him overnight with Paulin, who sexually abused him.
The listing of the credibly accused on the Vermont diocesan website does not include how many credible claims were made against each priest, the nature of any allegations or the names of victims.
Some of the priests named faced criminal charges and civil suits, according to the report issued by the committee.
The report identifies the following priests:
(Living priests credibly accused of abusing children in Vermont with date of birth)
Conrad A. Bessette, Dec. 29, 1942
Leo J. Courcy Jr., July 10, 1953
John B. Jack Kenney, Dec. 10, 1927
Dennis J. LaRoche, March 10, 1946
Charles G. Many, March 12, 1947
James J. McShane Jr., Nov. 11, 1940
Brian E. Mead, June 15, 1942
Stephen J. Nichols, Jan. 30, 1960
Edward O. Paquette, Dec. 2, 1928
George A. Paulin, July 22, 1943
Ronald A. Soutiere, June 5, 1937
Alfred Willis, July 17, 1944
(Priests credibly accused of abusing children in Vermont with date of birth and death)
Robert J. Baffa, March 24, 1937 March 23, 2013
Donald A. Bean, Dec. 1, 1934 Nov. 29, 2005
James E. Beauregard, May 5, 1941 July 28, 2015
Paul M. Bresnahan, July 11, 1928 July 23, 2003
Donald A. Bruneau, Jan. 2, 1929 June 2, 1994
James J. Campbell, July 26, 1913 presumed dead
Robert E. Devoy, Aug. 10, 1876 March 4, 1955
Joseph H. Dussault, March 22, 1908 Dec. 11, 1987
John F. Eastman, Dec. 20, 1914 presumed dead
James F. Foley, June 12, 1919 Nov. 27, 2002
Edward C. Foster, Feb. 12, 1925 April 14, 2000
William P. Gallagher, June 9, 1939 Oct. 13, 2003
Edward J. Gelineau, April 11, 1915 June 18, 2010
John A. Guischard, Feb. 28, 1916 May 15, 2007
Michael K. Madden, Aug. 31, 1942 Sept. 10, 2000
Walter D. Miller, Oct. 11, 1934 Jan. 2, 2014
Joseph Maxime Mooney, July 21, 1886 Dec. 31, 1965
George O. Murtagh, July 8, 1926 Dec. 7, 2011
Raymond C. Provost, July 13, 1908 Aug. 13, 1998
Daniel F. Roberts, July 19, 1909 Dec. 12, 1981
Forrest W. Rouelle, Dec. 5, 1927 March 25, 1998
Emile W. Savary, Jan. 16, 1917 June 8, 1966
Richard E. Thompson, Feb. 14, 1941 Sept. 23, 2006
Charles A. Towne, Dec. 4, 1903 Feb. 15, 1982
Raymond D. Walsh, July 11, 1927 June 24, 2019
Donal D. Ward, Feb. 16, 1933 Feb. 20, 2018
Benjamin D. Wysolmerski, Aug. 4, 1926 Oct. 11, 1994
Priests with connections to Vermont credibly accused of abusing children in other jurisdictions
Mark L. Quillen, also known as Andrew Quillen, May 10, 1951