News and Views of the Springfield, Massachusetts Sexual Abuse Crisis

In this section, we offer our first collection of media reports on the crisis as it has unfolded in the diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts. The most recent coverage is at the top of the page. Scroll down for earlier months and years, or use the links. The names of accused priests who are discussed in some articles are bolded. Richard R. Lavigne (see photo), the convicted sex offender who is a suspect in the 1972 murder of altar boy Danny Croteau, is the subject of many articles. We will be adding considerably to this collection, and we welcome suggestions for articles to include. Please email us at to suggest additions. Last updated 5/22/05.

2005: | January | February | March | May |
2004: | February | March | May | July | August | September | October | December |
2003: | March | October | November | December |
2002: | March | June | July | August | September | November | December |
1993 | 1992 | 1991 |

MAY 2005
- Probe Points to Prospective Ring, by Bill Zajac (May 2, 2005)
- Catholic Group Urges Legislation, by Bill Zajac (May 11, 2005)
- Private Investigator Sends Unusual Letter to Diocesan Clergy, by Father Bill Pomerleau (May 13, 2005)
- Alleged Abuse Survivor Works to Promote Healing in the Church, by Rebecca Drake (May 13, 2005) [about Rev. John R. Russell]
- Alleged Victim Supports Defrocking, by Bill Zajac (May 24, 2005)
- Murder Haunts Catholic Church, on CBS News (May 24, 2005)
- Group: Defrock Bishop Dupre, by Bill Zajac (May 25, 2005)

MARCH 2005
- Inmate Files Lawsuit against Two Dioceses, by Sharon Roulier and Father Bill Pomerleau (March 31, 2005) [about abuse allegation against Revs. Raymond J. Page, Bernard L. Doheny, George Berthiaume, and James Walsh, and Bishop Christopher J. Weldon.]
- Murderer Alleges Clergy Sex Abuse, by Bill Zajac (March 31, 2005) [about abuse allegation against Revs. Raymond J. Page, Bernard L. Doheny, George Berthiaume, and James Walsh, and Bishop Christopher J. Weldon.]

- Ex-Bishop Case Shrouded in Mystery a Year Later, by Bill Zajac (February 6, 2005)

- Priests Accused in Suits, by Bill Zajac (January 7, 2005) [about Msgr. Timothy L. Leary and Rev. Michael H. Devlin]
- Diocese Receives Abuse Complaints, by Bill Zajac (January 8, 2005) [about Msgr. Timothy L. Leary]

- Ex-Nun Named in Sex-Abuse Suit: The former nun accused of sexually abusing a minor once taught at Mater Dolorosa School in Holyoke, by Stephanie Barry (December 30, 2004) [about Mary Jane Vidnansky, Michael H. Devlin, J. Roy Jenness, Thomas J. O'Connor, Alfred C. Graves]
- Ex-Williamstown Priest Accused of Molesting Teen, in the Berkshire Eagle (December 31, 2004) [Rev. Michael H. Devlin, Alfred C. Graves]

- Diocese Review Board Clears Priest of Sex Charge, in Associated Press (November 12, 2004) [about Rev. John J. Bonzagni]

- Alleged Victim Tried to Protect Others, by Bill Zajac (October 11, 2004) [about Rev. Rev. Andre A. Corbin]
- Local Abuse Activist Poses as Reporter in Calls to Dioceses, by Father Bill Pomerleau (October 22, 2004)
- Activist Denies Deception, by Chris Hamel (October 25, 2004)

- Bishop Seeks Reconciliation with Sex-Abuse Victims, Pastor, in Catholic News Agency (September 14, 2004)
- Grand Jury Indicts Dupre, by Bill Zajac (September 28, 2004)
- History of Former Bishop Thomas L. Dupre, in the Springfield [MA] Republican (September 28, 2004)
- Clergy Abuse Scandal Betrays Victims Again, an editorial in the [Springfield MA] Republican (September 29, 2004)

- Priest Not Tied to Murder: DNA Tests Don't Point to Lavigne in Croteau Case, by Trudy Tynan (August 5, 2004)
- Questions Riddle Croteau Case, by Bill Zajac (August 15, 2004)
- Diocese Settlement, in the Springfield [MA] Republican (August 17, 2004) [names 18 accused priests]
- 18 Priests Named in Settlement, by Bill Zajac (August 17, 2004) [including Revs. Paul T. Boudreau, Eugene Dranka and Thomas F. O'Malley]

JULY 2004
- Diocese Inaction Faulted, by Bill Zajac (July 6, 2004) [about Rev. Clarence W. Forand]
- Diocese, Accusers OK Deal, by Bill Zajac (July 23, 2004)
- Court Opens Croteau Murder Files, by Bill Zajac (July 27, 2004)
- Croteau Files to Be Opened, by Bill Zajac (July 28, 2004)

JUNE 2004
- Priest Accused of Misconduct, by Bill Zajac (June 2, 2004) [about Rev. Andrew Dodo and Deacon James A. Martone]

MAY 2004
- Late Berkshire Priest's Estate Sued, by Bill Zajac (May 5, 2004) [about Rev. Donald V. Dube]
- Springfield Bishop Dissolves Fund for Accused Priests, Removes Critic from Board, by Trudy Tynan (May 12, 2004) [about Deacon James A. Martone]
- Diocese Property Sales, on WWLP 22News (May 26, 2004)

MARCH 2004
- Accused Clergy Had Influential Posts, by Stephanie Barry (March 1, 2004) [about Bishop Dupre, Msgr. Welch, and Revs. Huller, Meehan, Lavelle, Kennedy, Bonzagni, and Wamsher]
- DA: "Probable Cause," by Bill Zajac (March 5, 2004)
- Grand Jury Eyes Charges for Bishop: Hampden DA Points to Abuse Accusations, by Kevin Cullen (March 5, 2004)
- Priest Unafraid to Criticize Diocese for Abuse Scandals, by Adam Gorlick (March 7, 2004)
- New Bishops Chosen for Two Dioceses: Transitions in Worcester, Springfield, by Michael Paulson (March 10, 2004)
- On the Appointment of Bishop Timothy McDonnell, by Warren Mason (March 11, 2004)
- Dupre Named in Civil Lawsuit, by Bill Zajac (March 12, 2004)
- Mass. Priest Urges Diocese's Reform: New Abuse Cases Emerge After Confrontation on Support for Molester, by Jonathan Finer (March 20, 2004)
- For Dupre, the Pressure Was Too Much, by Bill Zajac (March 28, 2004)

- Diocese Sued by Former Worker: Sexual Harassment by a Catholic Priest Is Alleged in the Suit Filed by a 10-Year Employee, by Bill Zajac (February 7, 2004) [about Rev. James A. Sipitkowski]
- Bishop's Records at Issue Again, by Bill Zajac (February 9, 2004) [about Rev. David P. Welch]
- Dupre Accused of Abuse, by Bill Zajac (February 11, 2004)
- Bishop Resigns Following Claims: Springfield Prelate Had Faced Abuse Allegations, by Kevin Cullen (February 12, 2004)
- Bishop Quits after Abuse Query, by Bill Zajac (February 12, 2004)
- Diocese Statement, by Msgr. Richard Sniezyk (February 13, 2004)
- Diocese Reacts to Abuse Accusations after Bishop Dupré’s Early Retirement, by Father Bill Pomerleau (February 13, 2004)
- Abuse Lawyer Asks AG to Act: Review Sought in Springfield Diocese, by Kevin Cullen (February 13, 2004)
- Dupre Accusers Tell Lurid Tale: Allege Ex-Bishop Introduced Them to Gay Sex, Porn, by Bea O'Quinn Dewberry (February 20, 2004)
- Sermon Riled Accuser, Lawyer Says: Saw "Hypocrisy" in Stand by Prelate on Gay Marriage, by Kevin Cullen (February 20, 2004)
- Mass. Bishop Named in Sex Case: Rape Allegations vs. Springfield Prelate, by Eric Convey (February 20, 2004)
- 2004 Report on Child Sexual Abuse in Our Diocese, by Laura Failla Reilly (February 20, 2004)
- Study: 22 'Credible' Accusations against Priests in Past 50 Years, by Adam Gorlick (February 20, 2004)
- Study Details Clergy Abuse, by Michael McAuliffe (February 21, 2004)
- Diocese's Report on Sex Abuse Questioned: DA Considers Action on Springfield Records, by Kevin Cullen (February 21, 2004)
- Whistleblower Priest Becomes Another Victim of the System, by Warren E. Mason (February 21, 2004)
- Monsignor Says Harm of Abuse Wasn't Recognized, by John McElhenny (February 23, 2004)
- Sex with Boys "Acceptable," on News 24 (February 23, 2004)
- Gay Priests in a Barely Closed Closet, by Bill Zajac (February 29, 2004)

- 4 Brothers File Priest Abuse Suit, by Bill Zajac (December 13, 2003) [about Revs. Francis P. Lavelle, Edward M. Kennedy, Ronald E. Wamsher, J. Roy Jenness, and Thomas J. O'Connor]
- Danny's Story | Death of an Altar Boy: A Priest, a Boy, a Mystery, by Kevin Cullen (December 14, 2003)
- Obituary for Donald V. Dube, in The [Springfield MA] Republican (December 18, 2003)
- Lavigne's Status Raises Questions, by Bill Zajac (December 19, 2003)
- Retiree Files Suit against Diocese, by Bill Zajac (December 26, 2003) [about Rev. Andre A. Corbin, Jr.]

- Diocese in Denial, by Warren Mason (November 4, 2003) [about Rev. Paul Laflamme]
- Removed Priest May Fight Ruling, by Bill Zajac (November 14, 2003)

- Bishop Supports ‘Just’ Settlement of Abuse Cases, by Kathleen Mellen (October 2, 2003) [about Revs. E. Karl Huller and Richard R. Lavigne]
- Diocese Won't Detail Priest Aid, by Bill Zajac (October 11, 2003)
- Priest, Bishop at Odds, by Bill Zajac (October 29, 2003)

- Abuse Victim Tells the Story of a 'Great' Priest, by Tom Shea (September 14, 2003)
- Ruined Files Spark Allegation: Priest Says Bishop Called Springfield Diocese "Fortunate," by Kevin Cullen (September 17, 2003)
- New Lawsuit Targets Priest Who Served at Lee Church, in Associated Press (September 24, 2003) [about Revs. John J. Bonzagni and Richard F. Meehan]
- Bishop Denies Saying Predecessor Destroyed Abuse Data, by Kevin Cullen (September 30, 2003)

MARCH 2003
- Diocese Named in Two More Civil Lawsuits, in [Greenfield MA] Recorder (March 21, 2003)
- Dead Priest in Abuse Suit Defended, by Bill Zajac (March 24, 2003) [about Rev. E. Karl Huller]
- Former North Adams Priest Faces Suit Alleging Sex Abuse, by Susan Bush (March 24, 2003) [about Rev. Ronald R. Malboeuf]

- Law and the timid Voice of the Faithful, by Warren Mason (December 14, 2002)

- Conscientious Objections: Priest Calls on Brethren to Do Right Thing, By Thomas P. Doyle (November 17, 2002)

- Diocese Releases Priest's Files, by Matt Carroll (September 4, 2002)
- Parish Is Told of Abuse Probe: 3 Men Accuse Former Dalton Priest of Abuse, by Scott S. Greenberger (September 16, 2002) [about Rev. John A. Koonz]

- Boy's Death Follows Priest: Alleged Abuse Victims Questioned about a 30-Year-Old Homicide, by Roselyn Tantraphol (August 8, 2002)
- Abuse Alleged at Wellesley Seminary, by Matt Carroll (August 10, 2002) [about Richard J. Ahern and Joseph E. Flood]

JULY 2002
- Five Priests Barred from Parish Work, in Associated Press (July 31, 2002) [about Revs Edward M. Kennedy, Richard F. Meehan, Alfred C. Graves, and Donald V. Dube]

JUNE 2002
- Priest's Probation Ends amid New Scandals, by Bill Zajac (June 16, 2002)

MARCH 2002
- Diocese Sued in Sex Case, by Bill Zajac (March 28, 2002) [about Br. Lawrence Gauthier]
- Pittsfield Man's Suit Alleges Abuse at Ex-Lenox Seminary, by Jack Dew (March 29, 2002) [about Br. Lawrence Gauthier]

- Catholics Protest near Law's Residence, Demand Resignation, by Ron DePasquale (February 17, 2002) [about Revs Edward M. Kennedy, Richard F. Meehan, Alfred C. Graves, Donald V. Dube, and Donald A. Desilets]

- Lavigne Faces New Allegations: Ex-Pastor Freed from Md. Center, by Ray Kelly and Tom Shea (January 29, 1993)
- Stories of Alleged Victims: Years of Silence Ends Living with Betrayal, by Tom Shea and Ray Kelly (January 29, 1993)
- Allegations Lead to Priest's Retirement, by Beatrice O'Quinn (December 23, 1993) [about Rev. Donald A. Desilets]

- Westfield Priest Charged with Rape, Sexual Assault, by Jean Caldwell (April 25, 1992) [about Rev. Gary LaMontagne]
- Father Lavigne Pleads Guilty: Priest Evades Jail Term, by Brian Melley (June 26, 1992)
- Statement, by Bishop John A. Marshall (June 26, 1992)
- Priest Sentenced in Westfield Case, in Associated Press (November 7, 1992) [about Rev. Gary LaMontagne]
- Diocese Outlines Changes: Procedures Set in Misconduct, by Ford Turner (December 14, 1992)

- Priest Reportedly Was Suspect in a Slaying, by Jack Sullivan (October 22, 1991)
- Rain Washed Away Clue in '72 Slaying: Sources Say Springfield DA Believed Priest Killed Boy, by Kevin Cullen and Jack Sullivan (October 24, 1991)

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