Vermont Diocese List of Credibly Accused Clergy Shows 2 with Western Mass. Ties; Allegations against Both Were Already Public

By Anne-Gerard Flynn
The Republican
August 23, 2019

Vermont's Roman Catholic Bishop Christopher Coyne speaks Thursday Aug. 22, 2019 in South Burlington, Vt., about a new report that found there were "credible and substantiated" allegations of the sexual abuse of minors against 40 priests in the state between 1950 and today. The report said all but one of the allegations occurred before 2000. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, which covers the state of Vermont, has posted the names of 40 priests it says had credible allegations of sexual abuse filed against them since 1950 by victims who were under 18 at the time of the alleged incidence.

The posting, which is said to contain more than two dozen names not previously made public, is the work of a seven-member committee appointed last October by Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne to review diocesan files to compile a list of priests with credible allegations, as many other dioceses have done.

The names of and allegations against two men with ties to Western Massachusetts who appear on the list have already been public for years.

Lawsuits previously settled by the diocese previously revealed accusations against Edward Paquette, who was laicized by the Vatican in 2009 and who has lived in Westfield, Mass. since 1978 when he had his faculties for ministry removed by then Vermont Bishop John Marshall.

Paquette grew up in Westfield, but never ministered in the Diocese of Springfield, though allegations of abuse were made against him here. He was ordained in 1957 for the Diocese of Fall River where he served until 1963 when he had his faculties for ministry removed in that diocese for similar reasons.

He underwent counseling and was hired for seven years by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, which now lists him with seven credible abuse allegations on its website. When he returned to Westfield, he appealed to Marshall to hire him in Vermont, citing counseling he underwent in Indiana. He ministered for six years in Vermont before numerous allegations of abuse forced Marshall to remove him from ministry.

In 2006, the Burlington diocese avoided a trial involving allegations that it allowed Paquette, despite having a known history of abuse, to minister in the diocese by settling a suit for $965,000 brought by one of Paquette’s alleged victims. The case was one of many that named Paquette

In a 2009 interview with the Burlington Free Press, Paquette apologized to his victims, which he acknowledged included a family member he molested in Westfield during the 1950s.

Another name with Western Massachusetts ties on the list released Friday is George Paulin, whose birthplace is shown as Montague, Mass. He served from the time of his ordination in 1970 in Vermont through 2003, when he is said to have resigned as pastor.

Paul Babeu, formerly of Western Massachusetts, claimed Paulin sexually assaulted him in Vermont.

Babeu agreed to drop his lawsuit against the Burlington diocese in 2003 after a settlement was reached. The terms of that settlement, including the precise sum of money awarded to Babeu, were not publicly disclosed.

Babeu was also among the Western Massachusetts men who claimed they were sexually assaulted as children by Richard R. Lavigne, a former priest in the Springfield diocese.

Lavigne pleaded guilty in 1992 to molesting two former altar boys.

Babeu said in his suit against the Burlington diocese that at age 15 it was Lavigne who took him to northern Vermont and left him overnight with Paulin, who sexually abused him.

The listing of the credibly accused on the Vermont diocesan website does not include how many credible claims were made against each priest, the nature of any allegations or the names of victims.

Some of the priests named faced criminal charges and civil suits, according to the report issued by the committee.

The report identifies the following priests:

(Living priests credibly accused of abusing children in Vermont with date of birth)

Conrad A. Bessette, Dec. 29, 1942

Leo J. Courcy Jr., July 10, 1953

John B. “Jack” Kenney, Dec. 10, 1927

Dennis J. LaRoche, March 10, 1946

Charles G. Many, March 12, 1947

James J. McShane Jr., Nov. 11, 1940

Brian E. Mead, June 15, 1942

Stephen J. Nichols, Jan. 30, 1960

Edward O. Paquette, Dec. 2, 1928

George A. Paulin, July 22, 1943

Ronald A. Soutiere, June 5, 1937

Alfred Willis, July 17, 1944

(Priests credibly accused of abusing children in Vermont with date of birth and death)

Robert J. Baffa, March 24, 1937 – March 23, 2013

Donald A. Bean, Dec. 1, 1934 – Nov. 29, 2005

James E. Beauregard, May 5, 1941 – July 28, 2015

Paul M. Bresnahan, July 11, 1928 – July 23, 2003

Donald A. Bruneau, Jan. 2, 1929 – June 2, 1994

James J. Campbell, July 26, 1913 – presumed dead

Robert E. Devoy, Aug. 10, 1876 – March 4, 1955

Joseph H. Dussault, March 22, 1908 – Dec. 11, 1987

John F. Eastman, Dec. 20, 1914 – presumed dead

James F. Foley, June 12, 1919 – Nov. 27, 2002

Edward C. Foster, Feb. 12, 1925 – April 14, 2000

William P. Gallagher, June 9, 1939 – Oct. 13, 2003

Edward J. Gelineau, April 11, 1915 – June 18, 2010

John A. Guischard, Feb. 28, 1916 – May 15, 2007

Michael K. Madden, Aug. 31, 1942 – Sept. 10, 2000

Walter D. Miller, Oct. 11, 1934 – Jan. 2, 2014

Joseph Maxime Mooney, July 21, 1886 – Dec. 31, 1965

George O. Murtagh, July 8, 1926 – Dec. 7, 2011

Raymond C. Provost, July 13, 1908 – Aug. 13, 1998

Daniel F. Roberts, July 19, 1909 – Dec. 12, 1981

Forrest W. Rouelle, Dec. 5, 1927 – March 25, 1998

Emile W. Savary, Jan. 16, 1917 – June 8, 1966

Richard E. Thompson, Feb. 14, 1941 – Sept. 23, 2006

Charles A. Towne, Dec. 4, 1903 – Feb. 15, 1982

Raymond D. Walsh, July 11, 1927 – June 24, 2019

Donal D. Ward, Feb. 16, 1933 – Feb. 20, 2018

Benjamin D. Wysolmerski, Aug. 4, 1926 – Oct. 11, 1994

Priests with connections to Vermont credibly accused of abusing children in other jurisdictions

Mark L. Quillen, also known as Andrew Quillen, May 10, 1951








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