January 07, 2005

Church officials: Porter letter was misinterpreted

FALL RIVER (MA)
Herald News

Deborah Allard-Bernardi, Herald News Staff 01/07/2005

FALL RIVER -- The Diocese of Fall River refuted allegations that it has continued to provide financial support to convicted child molester James Porter even though he was laicized 30 years ago. A diocesan spokesman also said any argument over whether Porter is still a priest is an argument in semantics, since all ordained priests remain priests forever in the eyes of God.

Allegations that the diocese provided Porter with pension benefits and medical coverage were levied late Wednesday by Rhode Island resident Frank Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick, a former victim of Porterís abuse, said the notorious child abuser was "permanently a priest" and claimed that diocesan financial support over the years explained how Porter was able to own a house and two cars in Minnesota without loans, liens or a mortgage.

To support his allegations, Fitzpatrick pointed to a 1974 document he claimed was part of the dioceseís secret archives.

Posted by kshaw at January 7, 2005 05:25 AM