April 30, 2006

Guilt and Innocents

Burlington Free Press

Published: Sunday, April 30, 2006
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The year was 1972 and the newly appointed bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, the Most Rev. John A. Marshall, had a decision to make.

The Rev. Edward Paquette, employed in parishes near Fort Wayne, Ind., wanted to transfer to the Vermont diocese, ostensibly so he could be closer to his aging parents, who lived in eastern Massachusetts.

Marshall was inclined to approve the transfer, writing to Paquette at one point in response to Paquette's inquiry that "Naturally, I am very anxious to have the assistance of as many quality priests as may be possible."

Paquette had molested boys at parishes in Indiana and Massachusetts, and Marshall knew it, church records show. The bishop also knew Paquette had received several weeks of electric shock therapy to treat what was described at the time as "this sickness of homosexuality."

Posted by kshaw at April 30, 2006 07:00 AM