January 04, 2005

Parishioners scrap party for ex-pastor

Portland Press Herald

By JOSHUA L. WEINSTEIN, Portland Press Herald Writer

Roman Catholic parishioners organizing a reception to honor a priest who was forced to resign late last year canceled the event Monday, hours after advocates for sexual-abuse victims condemned their plans.

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

Bishop Richard Malone's investigation determined that the 69-year-old cleric 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 from 1999 to 2001.

The bishop's investigation also determined that in 1985, while Coughlin was pastor at St. Mary's Church in Bangor, the priest had inappropriate physical contact with a minor.

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2005 08:23 AM