Lobsterman Names Priest in Sexual Abuse Suit
Former Catholic Priest at Cape Elizabeth Now Chaplain at Veterans Administration Hospital in Togus

By Roxanne Moore
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
September 27, 1994

A Cheabeague Island man has filed a civil suit against a Catholic priest who he claims sexually abused him in a Cape Elizabeth confessional in 1982.

Philip W. Villandry, now 24, alleged in the suit filed Sept. 22 in Cumberland County Superior Court that the Rev. Francis Kane, now 66, anally molested him as a minor on one occasion when Kane was pastor at St. Bartholomew's in Cape Elizabeth.

"We absolutely deny that this ever happened," said Frederick C. Moore, attorney for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. "I think medical records will make that abundantly clear. " In addition to Kane, Villandry's suit holds responsible the bishops who supervised the priest then and currently, the Most Rev. Edward C. O'Leary and the Most Rev. Joseph J. Gerry.

Villandry, who works as a lobsterman, cited several results of being abused, including physical and psychological injury, and lost income due to disability.

Fontaine and Beal, the Portland law firm representing Villandry, has for several weeks been running a classified ad in the Maine Times, asking to hear from "friends" of Kane. The ad gives the law firm's telephone number and promises that information received will be "absolutely confidential. "

Villandry told a reporter for the Portland Press Herald that two years ago he began to remember the alleged assault, and last year he decided to seek damages.

Fontaine and Beal mailed a copy of the suit to the Bangor Daily News on Thursday, but did not return several telephone calls to the firm on Monday.

Kane, who resides at St. Augustine's Rectory in Augusta, has been Catholic chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Togus since leaving St. Bartholomew's in 1987.

Kane is a native of Portland and was ordained in 1953. He has served as an assistant pastor at St. Joseph's, Portland; Christ the King, Hebron; St. Mary's, Biddeford; and St. Joseph's, Lewiston.

He became pastor of St. Joseph's in Eastport in 1968, and also was temporary administrator of St. Ann's in Pleasant Point. He was appointed pastor of St. Thomas in Dover-Foxcroft in 1970, and was transferred to St. Mary's in Biddeford in 1974. He became pastor at St. Bartholomew's in 1981.

In the early 1970s, Kane was a member of the diocesan board of education, serving as chairman from 1971 to 1973.


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