February 17, 2005

Norwich bishop forces priest to leave because of sex allegations

The Advocate

Associated Press

February 17, 2005

MYSTIC, Conn. -- A priest at St. Edmund's Retreat on Enders Island has been forced to leave after Norwich Roman Catholic Bishop Michael R. Cote learned he had been accused in the past of sexual misconduct with minors.

The Rev. Paul Pinard had been living at the retreat in his retirement, but he did not take part in parish work, said Jacqueline Keller, a spokeswoman for the Norwich diocese.

"I made the request for his departure ... after being informed of past substantial allegations of sexual misconduct with minors that were made against Father Pinard prior to his arrival in our diocese," Cote announced in a letter to diocese priests that was published this month in the Four County Catholic, the diocesan newspaper.

Former Norwich Bishop Daniel Hart, who retired in 2003, gave Pinard permission several years ago to move to the retreat. It was not clear when the allegations against Pinard were made or when the diocese learned about them. Cote became bishop in May 2003.

Pinard left the island immediately after being asked by the bishop, said the Rev. Richard Myhalyk, superior general of the Society of St. Edmund, an order of priests with 42 members that is based in Colchester, Vt. He will be transferred to another location that was not disclosed.

Posted by kshaw at February 17, 2005 06:39 AM