January 04, 2005

Portland parishioners cancel event honoring priest ordered to resign

Foster's Daily Democrat

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Roman Catholic parishioners canceled an event honoring a priest who was forced to resign late last year after a Catholic reform organization criticized their plans.

The event, which was not sponsored by the Diocese of Portland, was held to honor the Rev. Paul Coughlin. In October, Coughlin was ordered to resign as pastor of Holy Cross and St. John the Evangelist parishes in South Portland.

An investigation of Coughlin determined the 69-year-old priest failed to report sexual misconduct by a church volunteer and allowed the man, who is now in prison, to live in the rectory at St. John.

Bishop Richard Malone’s investigation also determined that Coughlin had inappropriate contact with a minor in 1985 while at St. Mary’s Church in Bangor.

Parishoners insist the reception was not to focused on what Coughlin had done wrong, but rather celebrate what he had done right.

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2005 08:17 AM