The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church


More abuse records released

Files include diocese memos on nine clergymen

By Michael Rezendes and Matt Carroll, Globe Staff, 2/11/2003

When a Wilmington woman filed a lawsuit last year alleging that the Rev. Robert D. Fay had raped her when she was a teenager at Incarnation Parish in Melrose in the 1970s, Fay called the charge baseless.

But it was not the only time Fay found himself facing a sexual misconduct allegation and denying it.

Church records released yesterday depict Fay as a priest with a reputation for troubling behavior at parishes in Millis, Melrose, and Winchester, where he was assigned in the 1970s and early 1980s.

One memo shows that while Fay was an associate pastor at Incarnation Parish, a distraught woman complained that he had called her 14-year-old son a homosexual. The woman also said ''other parents want to go to the police claiming Fr. Fay will contribute to the delinquency of minors.''

In a June 1980 memo, the Rev. Arthur L. Reardon, then pastor of St. Mary Parish in Winchester, complained that Fay was ''bringing kids upstairs'' and demanded that Fay be moved out of his parish.

In an April 1981 memo, ''G.P.'' -- an apparent reference to the Rev. Gilbert S. Phinn, then clergy personnel director for the Boston Archdiocese -- asked ''Why Bob stayed at Melrose & Winchester when he was being so maligned as `drunk,' `homo,' `womanizer,' `stud,' etc., etc.''

And one undated memo shows Bishop Thomas V. Daily, who was then chancellor of the archdiocese, recording that Fay ''was trouble'' early in his career when he was assigned to St. Thomas Parish in Millis from 1967-72 and ''was trouble everywhere.''

The memos, all of them hand-written by unidentified church officials, also show that Fay repeatedly denied the accusations leveled against him and that on more than one occasion he threatened to sue fellow priests who complained about his conduct.

For instance, a 1979 memo shows that Auxiliary Bishop John J. Mulcahy, then the regional bishop with oversight of Fay, knew of ''rumors of all sorts'' about Fay, but that he also said there was ''no concrete evidence that can be cited.'' And the April 1981 memo said that ''Bob says many allegations leveled at him were unfounded.''

Fay, a Brockton real estate broker who has been on sick leave from the archdiocese since since 1988, did not return telephone calls seeking comment yesterday.

The records on Fay were among nine clergy personnel files released yesterday by Roderick MacLeish Jr., a lawyer representing alleged victims of the Rev. Paul R. Shanley in a lawsuit charging negligent supervision by Cardinal Bernard F. Law and the Boston Archdiocese.

The files included church records on the following priests accused of sexual misconduct:

* The late Rev. Jeremiah J. Collins. In a lawsuit filed last year, a Milton man said Collins abused him when he was about 13 years old and Collins was serving St. Jude Parish in Waltham. Collins was a priest in St. Jude's Parish twice, in the late 1950s and from 1968 until his death.

* The Rev. Paul J. McLaughlin. Last year, three men accused the retired priest of abusing them in the 1960s. One man said McLaughlin orally raped him in the 1960s, when he was 11 or 12 years old and McLaughlin was serving at St. Agnes Parish in Arlington. McLaughlin, reached at his retirement home in California yesterday, said he could not comment on the allegations because he has not seen them in writing.

* The Rev. Victor C. LaVoie. While serving at St. Thomas Parish in Wilmington last year, LaVoie was accused of fondling a 15-year-old boy in 1979. LaVoie's lawyer, James F. O'Brien, said yesterday that LaVoie denied the allegation.

* The late Rev. George V. McCabe. Two years ago, five men said that the Jesuit priest fondled them on different occasions during the 1970s. At the time, McCabe lived in the now-closed St. Mary Parish in the North End and worked at the St. Joseph Center in Charlestown.

* The late Rev. Leo V. Dwyer. In 1993, a Hull man said Dwyer repeatedly fondled him at St. Mary of Assumption Parish in Hull in 1967 or 1968. The accuser said Dwyer and the Rev. John A. Dunn sometimes molested him at the same time.

* The Rev. Paul J. Bolduc. Bolduc was suspended last year, while living in St. Anne Parish in Readville, after he was accused of molesting a youth in 1961. The records do not say where the alleged abuse occurred. Bolduc had been on sick leave since 1998.

* The Rev. James R. Porter. The imprisoned former priest and serial child molester, convicted of child sex crimes a decade ago, is routinely associated with the Fall River diocese. But the file released yesterday underscores complaints made against Porter by parishioners in the Boston Archdiocese, dating to Porter's tenure at Immaculate Conception Parish in Revere.

Records were also released on Monsignor Francis A. Murphy, but most of them duplicated records released last week.

Michael Rezendes can be reached at Matt Carroll can be reached at

This story ran on page B3 of the Boston Globe on 2/11/2003.
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