Former N.H. Priest Defrocked over Affairs

Nashua Telegraph [New Hampshire]
January 28, 2007

Manchester (AP) The pope has defrocked a former New Hampshire priest once accused of sexually assaulting a girl in Keene.

John Nolin also had admitted having affairs with several women, and church records say he moved two women into a home he owned in Keene at various times.

Nolin served in various communities, including Concord, Laconia, Salem and Woodsville. He was defrocked in November. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester announced the development Friday, with no comment on why there was such a delay.

Nolin, 73, resigned and was stripped of permission to function as a priest in 1994 after the abuse allegations. Now, he won't be able to collect retirement.

The diocese says he no longer lives in New Hampshire. As recently as 2005, he was living in New Mexico with a woman he was romantically involved with when he served in Keene.

Bishop John McCormack warned Nolin in writing in 2002 to leave the woman and relocate to Manchester alone. If he did not, McCormack warned, the diocese would seek to have Nolin defrocked. By then, the diocese had a history of confronting Nolin about his sexual affairs with women, according to church records.

Nolin was ordained in 1960 and spent his early years in a variety of parishes: St. Mary's in Newmarket, St. Kieran's in Berlin, St. Joseph's in Salem and Our Lady of the Mountains in North Conway. He was reassigned at least once because the diocese learned of his affairs with women, according to church records. His assignments also included our Lady of the Lakes in Laconia in 1968 and Immaculate Conception in Concord in 1969.

The Diocese of Manchester first learned of abuse allegations against Nolin in 1994, when a 32-year-old woman reported that Nolin had assaulted her years earlier, when she was 12 or 13. At the time, Nolin was having an affair with the girl's mother, according to church files.

When the diocese confronted Nolin about allegation in 1994, church records say, Nolin admitted having the affair with the girl's mother and said he had been involved with several other women. But he denied assaulting the girl.

As a result, Nolin resigned his parish assignment in Woodsville, sold his home in Keene near the accuser's family and moved. The diocese granted him early retirement.

By the next year, Nolin moved to New Mexico.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.