Records Show Claims against Local Priests
5 Withsouth Shore Ties Among 9 Whose Files Made Public
By Sue Reinert
Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA)
February 11, 2003
Newly released church records contain sexual abuse allegations against five priests who lived or worked on the South Shore.
The documents made public yesterday name the Revs. Robert D. Fay, Victor Lavoie, Paul J. Bolduc and two priests who have died: the Revs. Jeremiah J. Collins and Leo V. Dwyer.
They were among nine priests whose files were released by attorneys for alleged victims of the Rev. Paul Shanley. The attorneys have released one set of documents after another for months as the Archdiocese of Boston complies with a court order to turn over records of all accused priests.
Only one priest named yesterday allegedly abused a minor on the South Shore.
The late Rev. Dwyer is accused in a lawsuit of molesting a teenager at the former St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Hull in 1967 and 1968.
Two other priests assigned there, the Revs. Robert Barrett and John Dunn, also allegedly abused the same youth. The allegations against the three priests were first reported in December.
St. Mary was merged with St. Ann in the 1990s.
The Rev. Dwyer died in December 1989. He had served at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Carver for five years before he was assigned to Hull in 1963, church documents say.
Among the other allegations in yesterday's batch of records: As early as 1965, a memorandum to the late Cardinal Cushing from a church counselor warned that the Rev. Paul J. Bolduc "gives evidence of being a psychological problem that will engage the attention of the
Clergy Counselor for some time to come."
The Rev. Bolduc went on to serve at five parishes, including St. Elizabeth's Church in Milton from 1982 to 1994. He was put on leave last year after church officials received an abuse allegation that predated his Milton assignment. He is listed on health leave and could not be reached.
The Rev. Robert D. Fay, a Stoughton native, is accused in a lawsuit of molesting a Melrose teenager in the 1970s at a New Hampshire home, where he allegedly gave alcohol and marijuana to the teenager and other youths, a lawsuit says.
Handwritten notes indicate that church officials were told in 1980 that the Rev. Fay allegedly was arrested in New Hampshire for "drunkeness and use of narcotics." It is not clear what officials did in response to the allegation.
His first assignment after ordination in 1967 was at St. Francis Xavier Cabrini Church in Scituate, where he served for three months.
The Rev. Fay is listed on health leave in Brockton and could not be reached.
The Rev. Victor Lavoie, who served at St. Paul Church in Hingham from 1985 to 1989, was suspended last year after an allegation that he molested a 15-year-old in 1979 at St. Thomas of Villanova Church in Wilmington. A number of the Rev. Lavoie's friends and parishioners wrote letters of support, and he has denied the allegation. He could not be reached yesterday. The late Rev. Jeremiah T. Collins was sued last year by a Milton man who alleged that the priest molested him as a teenager in 1968 at
St. Jude Church in Waltham and at a cottage in New Hampshire.
The Rev. Collins was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Kingston for a few months after his ordination in 1939, church records say. He died in 1982.
In other files released yesterday, a woman who was allegedly molested by former priest James Porter describes turning to another priest - the Rev. Shanley - for comfort after allegations against Porter surfaced in 1992.
A decade later, Shanley also would come under fire - and the woman says she struggled with "the depth of the deception and betrayal."
The Rev. Christopher Coyne, a spokesman for the archdiocese, called it a "terrible situation all around. At the time she was sent to Father Shanley, no one knew."
Shanley is facing charges he abused boys from 1979 to 1989 while he was a priest at a Newton church.
Porter pleaded guilty in 1993 to molesting 28 children and was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison.
In an apparent record-keeping mistake yesterday, church officials included the records of another priest in the files of the Rev. Monsignor Francis A. Murphy, who came to Boston from Anchorage, Alaska, after Anchorage police received reports that he had molested youths there.
Records of another priest with the same first and last name but a different middle initial were included in Monsignor Murphy's file. Church spokeswoman Donna Morrissey could not explain the discrepancy last night.
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