libasci

Bishop Peter Libasci of the Manchester Roman Catholic Diocese apologized "for the grave sins of abuse and betrayal of trust that representatives of the church committed." (COURTESY PHOTO)

MANCHESTER — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester has published a list of 73 priests accused of sexually abusing children during a period that extends back to 1950.

Over a third of the priests on the list served in Berlin and Gorham parishes; nine served at the Our Lady of the Mountains Parish in North Conway.

Bishop Peter Libasci said publishing the list on the diocese’s website is “designed to provide further transparency to our ongoing commitment to protecting minors.”

All but two of the names had previously been made public. None may now serve as a priest. A majority of the priests on the list are dead.

The list details the year of ordination, status of the case and assignments for all individual priests.

It shows 28 of the priests had served part of their assignments in Catholic parishes in Berlin and Gorham.

In addition to the nine who served in North Conway, three served in Wolfeboro, one served in Ossipee and one in Sanbornville.

The list provides no details about the alleged abuse, or when or where the abuse took place.

“It is my hope that by making this information available, we are holding ourselves accountable to the evils of the past, and offering timely assistance, support and resources to those individuals and families who have been affected by the sexual abuse of a minor,” said Libasci.

The bishop said he recognized that releasing the list may bring back painful memories for victims and survivors. He said he was sorry for “the grave sins of abuse and betrayal of trust that representatives of the church committed.”

The diocese has launched a new section on its website that includes the list as well as other resources for victims and their families and a way for individuals to report abuse. The new site is catholicnh.org/restoringtrust.

The site reveals the diocese has paid over $28 million in financial compensation to victims and paid more than $360,000 for counseling. It has created an Office for Healing and Pastoral Care to offer support and assistance to victims, survivors and their families.

All of the priests on the list have been reported to civil authorities, and since 2002, the diocese said all allegations of sexual abuse of a child by church personnel are reported to the N.H. Attorney General’s office.

The diocese said it has taken steps to prevent sexual abuse of minors and said there have been no reports of abuse that occurred since 2002.

The priests on the following list served in local parishes in Carroll County — the dates their assignment began is given in parentheses. Those found guilty were either found guilty of sexually abusing a minor by the church after a canonical process or prosecuted in a secular court of law. All cases were reported to the New Hampshire judicial system.

• John Nolin — St. Kieran, Berlin (9/7/1960); Our Lady of Mountains, North Conway (8/30/65 and 3/6/68); found guilty.

• Eugene Pelletier — St. Joseph, Berlin (2/16/1961); St. Joseph, Center Ossipee (6/10/69); found guilty.

• George Robichaud — Our Lady of the Mountains, North Conway (6/18/79); St. Cecilia, Wolfeboro (6/16/99); found guilty.

• Romeo Valliere — Our Lady of the Mountains, North Conway (6/20/90); found guilty.

• Alfred Lapointe — Our Lady of the Mountains, North Conway (3/5/69); Guardian Angel, Berlin (6/3/1970); left priesthood before charges filed.

• David Morley — Our Lady of the Mountains, North Conway, weekend ministry (6/15/69); left the priesthood before charges.

• Albert Boulanger — St. Joseph, Berlin (4/8/1965); Our Lady of the Mountains, North Conway (11/10/71); St. Anthony, Sanbornville (2/6/89); deceased.

• Conrad LaForest — St. Anne, Berlin (6/3/1972); Our Lady of the Mountains, North Conway (6/15/88); deceased.

• Russell Neighbor — St. Cecilia, Wolfeboro (9/7/54); deceased.

• Edward Zelewski — St. Cecilia, Wolfeboro (3/31/62); Our Lady of the Mountains, North Conway (10/23/67); deceased.

In addition to those named above, the following priests served in local parishes in Coos County:

• Paul Aube — Guardian Angel, Berlin (1973); found guilty.

• Aime Boiselle — St. Joseph, Berlin (9/20/1967); Notre Dame High School, Berlin (10/18/1067); found guilty.

• Gerald Chalifour — Guardian Angel, Berlin (12/10/1957); Holy Family, Gorham (2/9/1970), found guilty.

• Joseph Cote — Our Lady of the Mount Academy, Gorham (10/10/1958); Guardian Angel, Berlin (9/7/1960); St. Joseph, Berlin, (4/8/1965); St. Anne, Berlin (7/1/1968); St. Joseph, Berlin (6/10/1969); found guilty.

• Philip Petit — Guardian Angel, Berlin (6/15/1982); found guilty.

• John Poirier — Holy Family, Gorham (12/01/2001); found guilty.

• Stephen Scruton — St. Kieran, Berlin (10/14/1963); found guilty.

• Romeo Valliere — Holy Family, Gorham (9/5/1984); found guilty.

• Patrick Dubreuil — St. Anne, Berlin (7/3/1975); left priesthood before charges were filed.

• Charles Authier — Our Lady of the Mount Academy, Gorham (5/1/1955); St. Anne, Berlin (9/20/1955); deceased.

• Gerard Beaudet — St. Anne, Berlin (6/15/1960); deceased.

• Wilfrid Bombardier — Guardian Angel, Berlin (6/20/1985) and residence (11/1990), deceased

• Denis Downey — St. Kieran, Berlin (6/24/1936); deceased.

• Gregoire Dumont — St. Anne, Berlin (4/22/1970; deceased.

• Edouard Duval — St. Anne, Berlin (9/7/1965); deceased.

• J. Delphin Gagne — St. Anne, Berlin (9/8/1944); St. Joseph, Berlin (6/18/1954); deceased.

• Gerald Joyal — St. Kieran, Berlin (3/15/1945); deceased.

• Maurice Leclerc — Holy Family, Gorham (5/29/1937); St. Louis Hospital, Berlin (5/31/1940); Guardian Angel, Berlin (9/27/l946) and (4/8/1965); deceased.

• Hubert Mann — Holy Family, Gorham (1939); deceased.

• Rocco Memolo — Holy Family, Gorham (1/27/1993)l deceased.

• John T. Sullivan — St. Kieran, Berlin (8/30/1949); deceased.

• Leo Landry — St. Kieran, Berlin (10/15/1969); from outside diocese.

• Marcel Genereux — St. Joseph, Berlin (6/15/1964); from outside diocese.

The following case has proceedings in process and has not yet been resolved. The individual has been accused of sexually abusing a minor, but the website notes, “Consistent with the principles of the American justice system, individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

• Paul Stevens — Our Lady of the Mountains, North Conway (10/13/76).

If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused as a minor by a bishop, priest, deacon or church employee or volunteer, the Diocese of Manchester encourages you to report the abuse to local law enforcement. If the abused person is still a minor, the report is made to the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth & Families at (800) 894-5533.

To report abuse to the church or if you made a report and have questions about why it was not included on the list, contact the Diocese of Manchester Victim Assistance Coordinator Joseph Naff, MSW, at (603) 663-0125 or jnaff@rcbm.org.

Conway Daily Sun editor Terry Leavitt contributed to this report.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.