Accused Priest to Serve at Patrick

By John McCarthy
Florida Today
December 13, 2002

A priest named in the ongoing Catholic church sex scandal in Boston, is coming to Patrick Air Force Base to serve as a chaplain. He is expected to arrive during the weekend.

Court documents released Wednesday in Boston, show the Rev. Redmond Raux, 47, was accused in 1993 of molesting a 12-year-old boy in 1987. According to reports published Thursday in the Boston Herald and USA Today, Raux and the Archdiocese of Boston signed a $200,000 settlement in 1995. Raux apparently was never charged with any crime.

Raux currently is finishing his tour at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. A man who answered the phone at Raux's Wyoming home said Raux had no comment and referred all questions to his attorney, Timothy O'Neill of Boston. O'Neill did not return phone calls to Florida Today on Thursday.

A Warren spokesman said Raux's move was a normal military move not related to the charges in any way.

Jennifer Stephens, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon said it was her understanding that Raux had been cleared of all charges. "These allegations were unsubstantiated by Boston, twice I believe."

But the Herald quoted a former priest, who has admitted to molesting the victim, as telling archdiocese officials "(The victim) told me about what Father Red did to him."

Friends and neighbors of Raux said they did not believe the charges against the priest.

The Rev. John Perry, who said he has known Raux since they were seminary students together in the '70s and '80s, said the Boston archdiocese had told him that Raux was innocent of the charges. "I do know that any allegations made against him, he's been fully exonerated."

Published reports say the Archdiocese of Boston withheld the allegations against Raux from the military. But in a written statement, the archdiocese denied that. "The Archdiocese of Boston did in fact notify representatives of the Military Diocese to the unsubstantiated allegations.

Thomas Connelly, vice chancellor of the Military Archdiocese, said he could not comment on specific personnel matters. But, he added, priests do have be recommended to the military by their religious superior. "They can't just decide they want to a become a priest somewhere else."

While chaplains are regular uniformed officers subject to the same rules and regulations as all other military members, they are basically "on loan" from their religious orders and can be recalled from duty at any time for any reason.

Military records for Raux, who is a lieutenant colonel, were unavailable Thursday. But public records show that in 1992 he was stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, where chaplains receive their military training and are commissioned as Air Force officers. Other records indicate that he also served at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., as well as at Warren.

The court documents indicate that Raux was withdrawn from military service for some time and underwent two separate evaluations by church officials. He was reinstated to military duty in 1996.

His military supervisors said Raux is an excellent chaplain.

"Chaplain Raux has had a stellar Air Force career. His records are highly competitive, demonstrating his positive and spiritually uplifting leadership for Air Force members both Catholic and non-Catholic," said Chaplain, Maj. Gen. Lorraine Potter, Air Force Chief of the Chaplain Service. "In our communication with the Military Archdiocese we find absolutely no reason to remove Chaplain Raux from serving in the active duty chaplain service. He is a superb chaplain, officer and leader."


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