History of Former Bishop Thomas L. Dupre

Springfield [MA] Republican
September 28, 2004

Nov. 10, 1933 Thomas L. Dupre born in Holyoke

1951-52 Attended College de Montreal

1952-53 Attended Assumption College in Worcester

1953-55 Studied philosophy at Seminary of Philosophy

1955-59 Studied theology at the Grand Seminary in Montreal

May 23, 1959 Ordained in Springfield by Bishop Christopher J. Weldon

1959-64 Served as assistant, St. George, Chicopee

1964-67 Attended Catholic University of America

1966 Assigned to St. Joseph's parish in Springfield

1967-69 Assigned to Chancery Office

1969-77 Assigned to Tribunal Office

1970-73 Served as assistant, St. John the Baptist, Ludlow

1973-77 Assigned to Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, Chicopee

1977-95 Served as chancellor of the Diocese of Springfield

1978-1990 Served as pastor, St. Louis de France, West Springfield

1982-1990 Served as pro-synodal judge

1983-86 Served on Bishop's Commission for the Clergy

1984-1994 Served as Presbyteral Council member

1989-95 Served as Secretary for Canonical Affairs

1989-95 Served as Vicar General

1990 Named pastor of now-defunct St. Thomas Aquinas in Springfield

May 31, 1990 Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Springfield

July 8, 1994 Named administrator of the Diocese

March, 14, 1995 Named seventh bishop of Springfield

May 8, 1995 Installed seventh bishop of Springfield in ceremony at St. Michael's Cathedral

March 3, 2002 Denied an Amherst priest's ouster was retribution for the priest's report to police that the soon-to-be-defrocked Rev. Richard R. Lavigne was lurking around the church

July 30, 2002 Five local priests removed from all ministry after Springfield diocese adopts "zero tolerance" policy toward sex abusers in the clergy, meaning clerics with a single "past, present or future" substantiated allegation of abuse be barred from ministry

Dec. 12, 2002 Refused to recognize a Catholic Mass scheduled at a Holyoke inn to be celebrated by a married priest from a renegade Catholic group that opposes celibacy in the priesthood Dec. 16, 2002 Announced application to defrock Lavigne, after the Vatican simplifies its laicization process amid the unrelenting sex abuse scandal in the church

May 7, 2003 Told The Republican he is considering retiring due to back and heart problems. Announcement came two weeks after a diocesan worker and mother of an alleged victim wrote a letter lashing out at abuse she believes occurred at the hands of Dupre, according to the woman.

Sept. 9, 2003 Deposed over statements he was accused of making by East Longmeadow priest at a 2002 clerics' conference regarding alleged destruction of Lavigne's personnel records from the 1970s. Deposition was cut short and never completed.

Nov. 6, 2003 Announced plan to handle abuse by priests, released the "Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth" and the "Code of Conduct for Clergy, Administration, Staff and Volunteers."

Nov. 12, 2003 Joined bishops nationally in an overwhelming vote against gay marriage and began speaking out against the same-sex unions in parishes across the local diocese. In the same month he submits letter to Vatican requesting permission to retire before the mandatory age of 75.

Jan. 20, 2004 Diocese announced Lavigne's defrocking - the first involuntary defrocking in Springfield diocese's history. Dupre did not attend the announcement and instead traveled to a pro-life rally in Washington, D.C. He issued a written statement on the Lavigne matter.

Feb. 10, 2004 Early retirement approved by the Holy See.

Feb. 11, 2004 Announces resignation one day after The Republican submitted written questions about sexual abuse allegations; checks himself into a medical facility for unspecified health problems.

March 4, 2004 Calling the allegations "credible and consistent," Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett sends allegations against Dupre to grand jury

March 5, 2004 State police raid bishop's suite, confiscating a computer and files

March 11, 2004 Two accusers file lawsuits against Dupre in Hampden Superior Court

Sept. 24, 2004 Grand jury returns two indictments (below) of child rape against Dupre

Sept. 27, 2004 District Attorney William M. Bennett says statute of limitation laws will prevent him from prosecuting Dupre.



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