Concord Priest Removed Amid Sex Abuse Allegations

Associated Press State & Local Wire
May 19, 2002

A Roman Catholic priest has resigned after three men came forward last week accusing him of sexually molesting them during the early 1960s, Bishop John B. McCormack said Sunday.

The Rev. Aime Boisselle of Sacred Heart Church in Concord is accused of molesting the men while serving in a Manchester parish, McCormack said. The alleged victims were in their early teens at the time.

No criminal charges have been filed and McCormack said he did not believe any of the men had filed lawsuits naming Boisselle. McCormack was not certain whether authorities had been informed about the allegations.

McCormack also was not certain which Manchester parish Boisselle had served in. He said Boisselle, who is in his 70s, had been minister at Sacred Heart for 21 years.

Patrick McGee, spokesman for the diocese, did not know whether Boisselle acknowledged or denied the allegations, and did not know how to reach him.

Boisselle resigned Friday, after the alleged victims approached officials with the Diocese of Manchester on Tuesday. The diocese's policy is to place priests accused of abuse on leave, but McCormack said Boisselle asked to retire instead.

McCormack, who would not detail the nature of the allegations, said Boisselle's right to minister has been suspended and that these are the first allegations of sexual abuse the diocese has received about the priest.

The news came on the same day McCormack was expected to hold a special Mass of Reparation and Healing at St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester. He asked all pastors in the diocese to hold a similar Mass.

During the services in Concord on Sunday, McCormack explained Boisselle's departure to members of the parish, and asked that they pray for him, as well as the men making the allegations.

"I am mindful that this is shocking and difficult news to bear. And he (Boisselle) asked me to thank you for all that you ... have done to support him in ministry. He's deeply grateful for your love for him and the support you have given him."

McCormack also told the congregation that the men accusing Boisselle of abuse had written a letter to the parish that would be shared with them in the coming weeks.

"In their letter, they ask that you not lose faith in light of this tragic news," McCormack said. "Please know that this weekend they are praying for you and me as we bear this burden of this moment together."

Several parishioners left the church in tears. One woman, who would not give her named, rushed from the church when McCormack finished speaking.

"I don't want to be in there any more," she said. "I'm not comfortable in there."


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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