Church Personnel Barred

By Craig Crosby
Kennebec Journal
May 9, 2009

A former Maine priest has been barred from the ministry and an Augusta man prevented from church service due to a history of child abuse, according to the Diocese of Portland.

Frederick A. Carrigan, 74, who served at St. Joseph in Gardiner as well as parishes in Bath, Bangor, Dover-Foxcroft, East Millinocket and Hampden, has been assigned to a life of prayer and penance, which means he cannot have any ministry, present himself as a priest or wear clerical clothes, according to a statement released by the Diocese on Friday.

In a separate case, Paul Douin, 69, of Augusta, has been permanently removed from his volunteer position. The Diocese said it made that decision after confirming that Douin was convicted in 1977 of sexual abuse of minor.

Carrigan was permanently removed from service after The Vatican accepted the decision of a tribunal that heard Carrigan's case during a church trial last October. The judges, all from outside of Maine, found Carrigan guilty of abusing a minor.

The tribunal's recommendation was sent to Rome, which gave final approval in a letter sent to Bishop Richard Malone April 22.

Carrigan was removed from ministry in 1989 for "inappropriate behavior" with an adult, the Diocese said. Carrigan was accused in 1991 of abusing a minor in 1972. His ministry ended 2002.

Douin, who was most recently a volunteer at St. Augustine's Church in Augusta, was sentenced to four years in prison in 1977, the Diocese said. He has not been arrested for any offense since his release from prison, according to the Diocese.

Douin's position at St. Augustine's, which put him in charge of preparing the altar area for liturgical ceremonies, was never subject to background checks.

The Diocese said it recently received information about Douin's past and launched an investigation.

Douin, who declined to comment when contacted at his home Friday, served in several volunteer positions in Waterville and Augusta.

The Rev. Francis Morin, pastor of St. Michael Parish, directed all inquiries about Douin to the Diocese. A call to the Diocese was not returned Friday evening.

Harvey Paul, director of the Maine chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, found little satisfaction in The Vatican's decision to bar Carrigan from service.

"It's way too little, way too late," Paul said.

Carrigan, who lives out of state, lives in anonymity, Paul said.

"We don't know where he is. We know nothing about him," Paul said. "We really have a problem with that."

SNAP is pushing for a Diocese-run web site, similar to Maine's sex offender registry, that would list priest the diocese has determined have abused children.

"If they want to be transparent, if they want to get the message out they are working against the abuse of children, they need this Web site," Paul said. "He still has the ability to abuse," he said of Carrigan. "His name needs to be out there."

The Diocese has said only they will consider a site, Paul said.

"They've been thinking about it a few months now," he said. "It should have taken about a day of thinking. In the time they're thinking about it, children are at risk."

Craig Crosby -- 623-3811, ext. 433


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