March 01, 2006

For some Maine parishioners, news brings shock, resignation

Portland Press Herald

By TREVOR MAXWELL, Portland Press Herald Writer

Patty Castonguay thought stress had pushed the Rev. John Shorty out of the priesthood when he left St. Mary's Church in Augusta.

Like many others in the parish, Castonguay never heard about the allegations against the well-liked priest.

She never knew that Shorty's sabbatical in 1994 was actually a forced removal from the ministry, or that he later received therapy for abuse of a minor, dating back to the late 1970s.

"About four years after he left Augusta, I heard that he had left the priesthood, but we did not know why," Castonguay said of Shorty, who ministered at her sister's wedding. "I assumed it was the stress from renovating the church. I loved him. I thought he was a great priest."

Castonguay was shocked to hear Tuesday that Shorty, 58, was one of two Maine priests permanently removed from the priesthood by the Vatican. The other is 57-year-old Christian E. Roy, who served in six towns between 1975 and 1991.

Posted by kshaw at March 1, 2006 06:36 AM