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  14 Priests Accused of Sexual Misconduct with Minors. State's Catholics Say They Support Local Diocese's Handling of Allegations

Union Leader (Manchester NH)
February 16, 2002

Following are the 14 priests listed by the Diocese of Manchester as having been accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. The alleged occurrences date from 1963 to 1987 and were reported between 1971 and 2001.

Diocesan spokesman Pat McGee would not release complete information about the priests until pastors had time to prepare their congregations this Sunday.

McGee said some retired priests still say Mass and administer sacraments.

Most of the information obtained below was from past newspaper accounts, interviews and diocesan sources. The Rev. John R. Poirier. Ordained in 1971, Poirier is listed as the administrator of Holy Family Church in Gorham. He has held the post since November.

In the late 1970s, he was a priest at St. Catherine of Siena in Manchester. He was assistant pastor at St. Joseph Church in Dover for the past 13 years.

"I've never heard even a hint of anything," said the Rev. Bartholomew Leon of St. George Maronite Catholic Church in Dover.

Poirier was removed from pastoral ministry yesterday.

The Rev. Albert L. Boulanger. Ordained in 1962, he is listed as retired. He lives in the Delany residence, a home for retired priests on Coolidge Avenue in Manchester. He has an unlisted telephone number. His pastoral privileges were revoked yesterday.

The Rev. Gerald F. Chalifour. Ordained in 1952, he is listed as retired. Chalifour lives in a private residence in Manchester, and his phone number is unlisted. He served at St. John Church in Allenstown in the 1960s. His pastoral privileges were revoked yesterday.

The Rev. Robert J. Densmore. Ordained in 1961, he is listed as retired. He was the former chaplain at Elliot Hospital and lives at the St. Anne rectory in Manchester. Despite frail health, Densmore says Mass, including the 7 p.m. Sunday Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral on a regular basis. He was visiting relatives in Florida and not expected back until April. His pastoral privileges were revoked yesterday.

The Rev. Raymond H. Laferriere. Ordained in 1960, he is listed as retired. At one point he was assigned to St. Louis Church in Nashua. He lives at St. Anthony of Padua rectory in Manchester, where he says Mass on an infrequent basis. His pastoral privileges were revoked yesterday.

The Rev. Conrad V. LaForest. Ordained in 1972 , he is listed as being on sick leave. LaForest lives at a private residence in Winnisquam. He was a priest at Our Lady of the Mountains in North Conway but departed in 1996. In 1999, he was assigned as part-time chaplain at St. Francis Home in Laconia. He is believed to have worked recently at St. Joseph Church in Laconia. He said Mass about three weeks ago at St. Lawrence Church in Goffstown. His pastoral privileges were revoked yesterday.

The Rev. Romeo J. Valliere. Ordained in 1963, he is listed as retired. Valliere, 68, told The Associated Press he was a priest in Manchester, Plaistow and Claremont.

He was first accused of sexual misconduct in 1989 by three females in his congregation, he said. Valliere said he received counseling and was never reassigned to a parish. He then went on sick leave.

"I know that I didn't (do it). Who can I convince now? If I was guilty of this I would tell you," Valliere said.

His pastoral privileges were revoked yesterday.

The Rev. Francis A. Talbot. No ordination date available. He is listed as suspended and a resident of Manchester. He is a longtime friend of retired Bishop Odore Gendron.

Talbot was appointed chaplain at CMC, at Gendron's direction, apparently in 1990. Previously, Talbot had been assigned to the state prison for 10 years, he said.

He has not performed pastoral functions since allegations were received.

The Rev. Stephen Scruton. No ordination date available. He is listed as suspended and a resident of Dover. Scruton has convictions in 1984 and 1987 stemming from suspected homosexual activity in highway rest areas in Londonderry and Marlborough.

After his arrest in 1984, Scruton resigned as pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Hudson. He maintained his innocence, was transferred to a Vermont parish and then St. Bernard Church in Keene. He resigned from there after his 1987 conviction.

He and the Diocese of Manchester were sued in 1991 by a former altar boy who claimed the priest had molested him.

The diocese said he has not performed pastoral functions since allegations were received. The Rev. Paul Aube. Ordained in 1970, he is listed as suspended and a resident of Manchester. The diocesan Web site said he is on a personal sabbatical.

He was a priest at Angel Guardian Church in Berlin in the early 1970s, when he transferred to St. Aloysius Church in Nashua.

In 1989, Aube participated in a mock trial at UNH-Manchester. He was described as a member of an Elliot Hospital ethics panel, but the hospital said yesterday it could not verify this.

In 1994, he was quoted during a memorial service at St. Paul Church in Candia.

Aube has not performed pastoral functions since allegations were received.

The Rev. Eugene Pelletier. Ordained in 1953, he is listed as retired and lives at Bishop Peterson residence, a nursing home in Manchester. Pelletier served at St. John the Baptist Church in Allenstown in the mid to late 1980s.

"He was a very good man," said church custodian Roger Letendre.

Pellietier has not performed pastoral functions since allegations were received.

The Rev. Albion F. Bulger. Ordained in 1956, he is listed as retired. His mailing address is the same as Resurrection Parish in Nashua. His residence is listed as 23 Parrish Hill Drive, Nashua.

He has not performed pastoral functions since allegations were received.

The Rev. Joseph T. Maguire. Ordained in 1973, he was listed as retired by the diocese yesterday, but the Web site said he is on sick leave. He lives in Hyannis, Mass.

He has not performed pastoral functions since allegations were received.

The Rev. Joseph A. Cote. Ordained in 1951, he is listed as retired. He lives in Berlin. He has not performed pastoral functions since allegations were received.

 
 

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