Former Local Priest Removed

The Courier-Gazette
March 2, 2006

PORTLAND - A priest who served Roman Catholic churches, including five years at St. Bernard in Rockland, has been removed from his religious position by the Vatican for sexual abuse of minors.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced Tuesday that 57-year-old Christian E. Roy has been dismissed from the clerical state and is therefore permanently released from both the rights and obligations of the priesthood. Roy is the first Maine priest to be laicized, or removed from the priesthood.

In 1986, Roy became pastor of the St. Bernard Parish in Rockland and in 1991 he was pastor of St. Francis of Assisi in Belfast. He also served as chaplain of the Maine State Prison and at parishes in Augusta, Biddeford, Sanford and Lewiston. During his tenure, Roy also served as the chaplain of the St. Thomas School in Sanford and the chaplain of the Catholic Committee on Scouting.

In 1993, Roy was accused of abuse of a minor dating from 1983 to 1990. At that time, he was on personal leave from active ministry and once the report was received he was never allowed to function again as a priest, according to a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. Two other complaints were received after his removal.

The Vatican also has ruled in the case of two other Maine priests. John Shorty, 58, was laicized upon his request. Shorty served at churches in Caribou, Portland, Stonington and Augusta. He also was youth director and moderator of the Diocesan Catholic Youth Organization and as chaplain at the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.

The Rev. John Audibert, 65, has been removed from the ministry, but has not been laicized. This means he is no longer in ministry, is prohibited from wearing clerical clothes, may not publicly represent himself as a priest and may have no unsupervised contact with minors.

Audibert has served several parishes including Fort Kent, Caribou, Bangor, Auburn, Lewiston and Whitefield. He also served as chaplain at Colby College, Thomas College, the Newman Center in Orono, Augusta Mental Health Institute and as the director of the Christian Formation Center in Caribou. He most recently served as pastor of St. Thomas in Madawaska where he was removed in 2002.

There was no information released on where the allegations of abuse occurred.


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