Another Hingham Priest Accused of Abuse
Incidentfrom 20 Years Ago under Review

By Kevin Rothstein
Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA)
July 26, 2002

A priest who served at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Hingham has been suspended because of an accusation of sexual misconduct against a minor.

The Rev. Victor LaVoie, pastor of St. Eulalia Church in Winchester, was placed on administrative leave by the Boston Archdiocese because of an allegation of abuse that occurred more than 20 years ago, the church said in a statement.

Sheldon Daly, a long-time parishioner at St. Paul's, said the Rev. LaVoie was a priest at the parish in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

He is the third priest who served at St. Paul's to be accused of sexual misconduct.

John Hanlon left his post there in 1992 after being indicted for raping an altar boy from Carver while he was pastor at St. Mary's Church in North Plymouth. He was convicted and sentenced to serve three life sentences.

Former priest John Geoghan of Scituate, who served at St. Paul's from 1967 to 1974, was convicted in January of indecent assault and battery and sentenced to nine to 10 years in prison. He is accused of molesting 130 children.

Daly recalled LaVoie's participation as a deacon in a regional youth group that drew religious leaders and lay people from all over the archdiocese.

"He was friendly, a nice friendly young fellow," Daly said.

Shortly before the Rev. LaVoie's ordination in 1971, he shared with Daly his concerns about becoming a priest.

"It was coming down to the time to become celibate and become a priest," he said.

The archdiocese said the allegation against the Rev. LaVoie was reported recently. After determining the accusation warranted further investigation, church officials placed him on administrative leave.

He will continue to receive pay and medical benefits but is not allowed to perform any public ministry. In a statement, an archdiocese spokesman, the Rev. Christopher Coyne, said if the allegation is determined to be groundless, "efforts will be made to restore the priest's reputation."

No one answered the phone at the Rev. LaVoie's number in Winchester, where he has been pastor for seven years.

From 1975 until 1979, the Rev. LaVoie was joint pastor of St. John Chrysostom Church in West Roxbury.

In 1992, an archdiocese directory indicates he was unassigned. The 1994 records show he was chaplain at Lahey Clinic in Burlington.


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