Assignment Record– Rev. Richard O. Matte
Summary of Case: A priest of the Boston archdiocese ordained in 1964, accusations of child sexual abuse against Matte are known from nearly every assignment throughout his career as a priest. Most involved boys, and at least one case involved sexual abuse of a girl. Matte was removed from ministry in 1993 and defrocked in 2005.
Feb. 18, 1964
Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970).
|June 7, 1966||St. Joseph the Worker||Hanson||MA||2/2|
|June 7, 1966||Feb. 13, 1967||Sacred Heart||Brockton||MA||
|Parish had a school with 170 boys and 150 girls.|
|Feb. 13, 1967||March 9, 1967||Health Leave|
|March 10, 1967||Oct. 7, 1969||St. Joseph's (French)||
• Accused of sexually abusing minors in Salem.
|MA||5/5, 4/5||Parish had a grade school with 245-236 boys and 271-233 girls, and a high school with 40 boys and 87 girls.|
|March 10, 1967||Oct. 7, 1969||St. Therese||Salem||MA||This was a mission of St. Joseph's.|
Oct. 8, 1969
Cushing was succeeded by Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).
|Sept. 8, 1970||
• Accused of sexually abusing minors here.
|School had 348 boys and 352 girls.|
|Sept. 8, 1970||May 4, 1976||Xaverian Brothers High School||
• A student of this school told administrators that Matte was sexually abusing the student's friend during confessions. Matte denied the accusation and the student was suspended for spreading rumors.
• A man in 2002 stated publicly that Matte "took advantage of" him when he was a Xaverian sophomore in 1976. He said he had gone to Matte for counseling regarding a relationship with a girl.
• One accuser here was Matte's nephew, per church documents.
|MA||Chaplain||School had 965-745 boys.|
|May 4, 1976||Jan. 30, 1984||St. Joseph's||
• Accused of raping a 13-year-old boy in the 1970s in the rectory of this parish. His accuser said that Matte canceled a youth group meeting, but didn't tell him. The boy showed up alone and, after raping him, Matte told the boy he would go "straight to hell" if he told.
• Accused of sexually abusing four adopted and foster children from one family.
• Accused of fondling a 14- year-old girl who had gone to him for help after her father died.
Jan. 31, 1984
Medeiros was followed as archbishop by Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002).
|Dec. 27, 1984||St. Joseph's||
• Accused of having sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in the early 1980s. The boy is said to have been abused when he went to Matte to report that assistant priest, Fr. Buntel, had plied him with drugs and alcohol and violently sexually abused him.
|MA||2/6||Buntel was removed from ministry in 2002 for sexually abusing boys and exposing them to drugs, alchol, and violent pornography.|
|Dec. 28, 1984||May 24, 1988||Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary||
• Accused of trying to molest a 17-year-old boy who reported to Matte that the assistant priest, Fr. Desilets, had been sexually abusing him. Matte responded by telling the boy to take his clothes off.
Matte was removed from this parish in 1988, per a 2002 lawsuit, due to complaints that he was molesting children.
Matte reported Desilets' sexual abuse of altar boys to Bishop Banks (Boston) and to Desilets' superiors in Canada.
|May 25, 1988||Jan. 12, 1993||St. Louis de France (French)||
• Accused in a 2002 lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy at this parish for four years, beginning when the boy was 13 years old, in 1989.
|MA||1/4, 1/2, 1/3, 1/1||
Parish had a grade school with 218-275 students. In 1988-1989 it had a high school with 125 girls.
Matte is said to have been removed from this parish in 1993 and sent to treatment, due his sexual abuse of young boys.
|Jan. 13, 1993||Dec. 27, 1998||Absent on Sick Leave||
Matte was sent to a treatment center in Canada. (Manchester (NH) Union Leader
He began working in 1996 in the Boston archdiocesan personnel office.
Dec. 27, 1998
Law was replaced by Sean Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M.
|March 21, 2005||Unassigned||
Matte is not indexed in the Directories after 2002.
Said to be living in South Dennis MA in 2002.
Matte's laicization was announced in 2005.
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1965-2002)
• Abuse Alleged at Xaverian in 1970s, By Stephen Kurkjian, Boston Globe, March 6, 2002
• Asked to Help, Priest Allegedly Abused, By Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe, June 5, 2002
• Church Scandal: Hidden Truth; Records: Church Covered up 4 Decades of Abuse, By Tom Mashberg and Jack Sullivan, Boston Herald, June 5, 2002
• Church Aware of Birmingham Accusations As Early As 1964, By Julie Mehegan, Lowell Sun (Lowell, MA) , June 5, 2002
• Allegations against Former Lowell Priest Have Rocked a Tightly Knit Parish, Lowell Sun (Lowell, MA) , July 6, 2002
• Bishop John B. McCormack: Role in sex abuse scandal still questioned, Manchester (NH) Union Leader, July 9, 2002
• The Convicted and the Accused, Boston Globe, January 28, 2002
• Priest Abuse Cases Sealed by Judges, By Walter V. Robinson, and Sacha Pfeiffer, Boston Globe, February 16, 2002
• Former Lowell Priest Was Named in Settled Suit, By Dana Willhoit, Lowell Sun (Lowell, MA), February 16, 2002
• Lawsuit Links Cardinal to Placing Pedophile Priest in Pepperell, Lowell, By Lisa Redmond, Lowell (MA) Sun , April 10, 2002
• 6 Priests Accused of Abuse Are out 'Left Clerical State,' Archdiocese Says, By Michael Paulson and Jonathan Saltzman, Boston Globe, June 10, 2005
• Ex-Lowell, Pepperell Priest Defrocked, By Robert Mills, Lowell Sun (Lowell, MA) , June 10, 2005
• Former Local Priests Defrocked over Sexual Allegations, By Nicole Simmons, Metro West Daily News, March 18, 2006
• Boston Archdiocese Posts Sex-Abuse Database Online, By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, August 25, 2011
• North Shore Priests on List, Salem News, August 26, 2011
• Richard O. Matte Assignment History, Boston Archdiocese
Priests in a Parish: We use the following
convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means
that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually
the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand
3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample
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Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.
This assignment record collates Matte's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.
This assignment record was last updated on October 27, 2015.