The predator who worries me the most

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

By David Clohessy

“Of all these predator priests, which one worries you the most?” That was the question a fellow survivor put to me recently.

My immediate thought was “How on earth could I pick one?” My next thought was “Geez, this is gonna keep me up tonight.” And it certainly did.

The first name that popped to mind was Fr. Ronald H. Paquin, who’s recently been released from prison. He is known to have sexually abused more than 40 boys. Once, with four boys in his car, he crashed while driving drunk. One boy died and another was badly injured.

Then I realized that Fr. Paquin probably sprang to mind probably because he’s portrayed briefly in the film Spotlight.

I realized that kids may be a little safer from Fr. Paquin than other predators because he must register as a sex offender and because the abuse and cover up crisis has gotten so much coverage in Massachusetts.

Then I thought of about four guys in quick succession.

Fr. Henry Willenborg (who spent time in Illinois, Missouri and, most recently, Wisconsin) who reportedly molested a teen, impregnated an adult parishioner twice, suggested an abortion, fathered and ignored a child. Since 2009, Catholic officials say they’re investigating all of this alleged wrongdoing by the slick-talking and charismatic Fr. Willenborg.

–Fr. Willenborg’s time in Missouri reminded me of another ex-Missouri cleric, Br. William C. Mueller, who lives in San Antonio and molested more than 50 kids in Missouri, Colorado and Texas while teaching in Marianist schools.

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