3 Former S. Shore Priests Charged with Abuse

By Don Conkey and Sue Reinert
The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA)
August 28, 2002

Two Catholic priests who formerly served on the South Shore have been suspended because of allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Another priest who was assigned to a Quincy church in the 1970s was arrested yesterday on a charge of raping a young boy.

The Rev. William L. Butler, pastor of St. Mary's Parish in Revere, served at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull in 1966 and 1967. The church is now combined with St. Ann.

The allegations against the Rev. Butler were made by a former member of the Hull church.

In an interview today, Rev. Butler said he is innocent, and vowed to fight to clear his name.

"I'm trying to catch my breath," he said. "This is devastating to me."

The Rev. Paul J. Bolduc, on health leave from St. Anne's Parish in Hyde Park, served at St. Elizabeth's Parish in Milton.

Rev. Bolduc was an assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth's from about 1983 to 1994. The allegations against him preceded that period, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston said.

Meanwhile, a priest who was once assigned to a parish in Quincy was indicted yesterday on a charge he sexually assaulted a Waltham boy in the 1980s.

The Rev. Robert Gale, 61, was arrested in New Hampshire after a Middlesex County grand jury returned indictments on four counts of rape of a child.

The Archdiocese of Boston has placed placed the Revs. Butler and Bolduc on administrative leave after receiving complaints of sexual abuse of minors.

The Rev. Butler said he was accused of molesting a former Hull parishioner in the summer of 1966, when the accuser was a child. The accuser claimed that the Rev. Butler took him to the priest's family property in Canada and abused the boy there.

The Rev. Butler said that he never brought any parishioner to the Canadian property and found the allegations baffling.

He could not have taken the boy there that summer because his supervisor in Hull "did not permit summer vacations for his curates," the Rev. Butler said.

He said he remembers the boy's family and "always had a good relationship with the family."

A statement from the archdiocese said the Revs. Butler and Bolduc are facing accusations "that would have occurred over 30 years ago."

Authorities allege that the Rev. Gale raped the boy in the rectory of St. Jude's Parish in Waltham, where he was served from 1980 to 1984, when the boy was 10 to 14 years old.

The Rev. Gale, who now lives in Middleton, N.H., served at St. Jude's until 1987 and was later assigned to Infant Jesus Parish in Brookline and St. Monica's parish in South Boston. He is not currently assigned to a parish.

The Patriot Ledger reported in June that the Rev. Gale has also been accused in a lawsuit filed in April in Suffolk Superior Court of trying to seduce a 17-year-old boy in 1979.

The alleged victim, now 26, has brought suit accusing the Rev. Gale of kissing him after a christening in 1993.

The Patriot Ledger also reported in June that in 1996, the Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay a Rockland man $80,000 to settle a suit alleging that the Rev. Gale raped him in 1979, when he was 12.

At the time, the Rev. Gale was assigned to St. Joseph's Church in Quincy Point.

After his indictment yesterday, the Rev. Gale was arrested on a fugitive-from-justice charge. He was released on personal recognizance by a New Hampshire bail commissioner on condition that he appear in Middlesex Superior Court today for arraignment on the rape charges.

Also yesterday, an employee of a Catholic church in Bridgewater was charged with sexually abusing a child.

Reed Haviland, 50, a caretaker at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, pleaded innocent in Brockton District Court to 20 counts of having unnatural acts with a child under 16. He was released on $35,000 cash bail.


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