Each of the evicted priests, whom I believe to be Fr. Paul Bolduc, Fr. Paul Tivnan, Fr. Jack Carroll, Fr. Raymond Plourde, Fr. Harold Johnson and Fr. Dick Johnson, had an allegation of sexual misconduct placed against them that had been investigated and found to be unsubstantiated, unfounded, without merit, the allegation was too old to be investigated (one accusations was over 50 years old) or they were exonerated and Canonically cleared. Most had been residing at Regina Cleri for 10 to 12 years.
Two of the priests, Fr. Paul Bolduc and Fr. Harold Johnson were gravely ill and dying at the time the Archdiocese told them they were being removed.
Priests in the diocese, parishioners and employees of Regina Cleri are shaken by the accounts of actions taken by the Archdiocese. Sources familiar with Fr. Bolduc's treatment tell me that shortly after Fr. Bolduc was apprised of his eviction, he had some kind of ministroke. He was rushed to Mass General Hospital and was subsequently placed on life support.
Informed sources are circulating reports to Boston diocesan clergy saying at some point shortly thereafter, the decision was made by the diocese to stop paying for Fr. Bolduc's life support. When the family was informed, Fr. Bolduc's sister (who lives in Florida) made arrangements to come up to Boston to manage the situation and asked that the life support not be removed until she arrived. Her request was denied and Fr. Bolduc died shortly before she arrived from Florida.
Several priests I spoke to asked whether Fr. Bolduc's circumstances rise to the level of euthanasia. Every one I spoke with certainly believes it rises to the level of cruelty.
Fr. Bolduc's Obituary: :
BOLDUC, Rev. Paul J. Dec. 29, formerly of Milton and Malden beloved brother of Lois M. Rooney and her husband Donald of Hampton, NH, Arthur J. Bolduc and his wife Nancy of Acton, ME. Uncle of Paul Rooney of Natick, Peter Rooney of Rowley, Patrick Rooney of Salisbury, Debra Gallagher of Methuen, Joseph Bolduc of Stoneham, and David Bolduc of Limerick, Maine. Fr. Bolduc was ordained in 1960 and served in St. Patrick Parish, Roxbury for 5 yrs, Immaculate Conception in Malden, for twelve years, St. Elizabeths Church in Milton for 10 years and served as Chaplain at Milton Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Childrens Hospital, Dana Farber Hospital, Joslin Diabetes Clinic and Brigham and Woman's Hospital, while he resided in St. Thomas Parish in Jamaica Plain and later in St. Anne in Readville. Visiting hours Sunday 2-6 in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 5 Canton Ave, Milton. Funeral Mass in St. Elizabeth's Church, Milton on Monday at 11:00 o'clock. Interment Mt. Calvaire Cemetery, Somersworth, NH. Father Paul Bolduc served God since he was ordained in 1960. Fr. Bolduc's family has taken on the responsibility of informing the public of his innocence in the matter of one accusation against him in 2001. After two years of investigation by the Archdiocese Review Board he was declared innocent of all charges and was returned to his public ministry without restriction. The Decree was dated July 22, 2003 and was signed by the Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon, D.D. Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Boston. The one allegation that was made against him could not be substantiated. At the time, Father Bolduc was prevented from proclaiming his innocence to the public or his peers. Father Bolduc's reputation was shattered and his life was changed forever. He forged on, always mindful of his mission in life. Due to this ordeal his health suffered greatly and continued to decline as time went on. Father Bolduc's family wishes to thank all his friends for standing by him and for all the support they gave him in his time of need. He was a dedicated holy man who had a true calling to the priesthood and who gave of himself completely and unconditionally. His family would also like to thank the nurses and staff at Regina Cleary residence, Boston for the excellent care they gave him. Chapman, Cole & Gleason Milton 617 696 6612
Another upset Boston priest told me that Fr. Tivnan and Fr. Plourde were packed up and taken to a facility in Canada (believed to be Southtown) to be warehoused. Upon their arrival, the facility told the diocese, the priests were "too old" to be admitted to the facility. On the way home, they were told there was no room at the inn at Regina Cleri.
Fr. Tivnan and Fr. Plourde are actually among the missing. Nobody seems to be able to obtain information on their whereabouts. One priest I spoke with said Boston clergy consider Cardinal O'Malley's administration to be so hostile/retalitory/punative - they're simply too scared to ask questions.
In the course of interviewing for the Regina Cleri story, several priests told me disconcerting things they've been too concerned about self-preservation to question or create a dust up.
It's also being reported to me that the diocese had suggested sending the men to a lockdown facility where convicted pedophiles and convicted sexually violent men are warehoused. Given these men thrived at Regina Cleri for over a decade, what exactly was the impetus for packing up 70 to almost 90 year old unsubstantiated accused/exonerated/falsely-accused priests and evicting them at this point in time? Some of them as they lay dying?
A May 2009 article in the Boston Globe gives somewhat of a heads-up regarding the anticipated bankruptcy of the clergy fund.
The Archdiocese of Boston, facing a clergy pension system that will run out of money in 2011 without a financial rescue, is now taking its first concrete steps to limit benefits and raise revenue to shore up the fund.
Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley has mailed to all priests a legalistic 17-page "decree of promulgation" that is raising concerns among some sick priests because it says that they will receive only 60 percent of their stipend, in addition to their healthcare coverage, if they are on health leave.
The policy affects only the 40 priests who are currently "unassigned" because they are sick, disabled, or on a leave of absence, but it signals the archdiocese's willingness to make difficult and unpopular decisions as it attempts to address its most serious financial challenge.
Two priests on health leave expressed concerns about the policy in separate interviews last week, but neither would allow his name to be used, citing fears that the archdiocese would limit their benefits.
"The archdiocese sees priests with health issues as a burden," said one of the priests. "It's clear they don't want us."
It's no secret I believe Cardinal O'Malley's administration is dishonest. I hate to say it, but over the course of the past few days, I've come to the realization I'm actually underestimating the situation.
I know I don't have to ask for prayers from my audience but I can't think of another way to close out the disheartening and demoralizing news.
Two developments today.
1. The Vicar General of the diocese, Richard Erickson was scheduled to attend a meeting at Regina Cleri with residents/staff who are in an uproar. As soon as I get news on how the meeting went, I'll post it.
2. An article in the Globe today reveals that "Bishop Accountability" wants Cardinal O'Malley and his wizards to publish information about the subset of priests who have an allegation of sexual abuse that proved to be unfounded, without merit or they were exonerated after an investigation and canonically restored - etc.
First of all, let me say up front, I don't have any bones to pick with Bishop Accountability about their conviction that the Bishops operating this diocese are dishonest and dishonorable. The kangaroo initiatives they've set up to protect children are about as safe for children as the Caritas shuttle vans leaving Caritas Hospitals with pregnant women heading for abortion clinics.
The problem with Bishops Accountability is that it consistently misrepresents factual information in far too many cases of an accusation to have any discernment or credibility. It's run by two people (Ann Barret Doyle and Terry McKiernan) making use of the situation to overthrow the heirarchy of the Roman Catholic Church to re-write the cathechism and Bible, of the people, by the people and for the people. They started out with Voice of the Faithful but even the VOTFers couldn't stand them.
More importantly, the situation at Regina Cleri is a perfect example of their deranged sense of totalitarian power. If you're ever accused of something criminal at work and neither the police nor your employer could find any credible evidence of it, these two dillies think they have they have authority to have you dragged out of a nursing home at 90 years old to have you incarcerated at a private facility.
These are not the kind of people you give the names and wherabouts of your employees.
In any event, it appears they asked Scott Brown and Martha Coakley to bully the Cardinal.
Last week, during a radio debate on WTKK, Martha Coakley and Scott Brown said they would call on Cardinal Sean O’Malley to release the names of all priests in the Archdiocese of Boston who were credibly accused of sexual abuse.
A week later, the candidates have yet to send a letter or make a phone call to the cardinal.
Once upon a time, Bishops and diocescan employees would cover up abuse. Now, the pendulum has swung the other way. They don't separate credible allegations from allegations without substance and merit.
They simply couldn't care less about anybody or anything concerned.
The last thing laity ought to be doing, is permitting Bishop Accountability and the dishonest and corrupt at the Boston Chancery to hand names and addresses to deranged vigilantes or unlawfully incarcerate men outside of the legal process.
This is a step up in the persecution of the Catholic Church.
So I spoke to the Rev. John Connolly, one of O’Malley’s aides, and he said the cardinal is committed to the principle of releasing the names. Although there are some remaining questions about due process, he said, the goal is to release them sometime this year.Yeah, gentlemen, among other things, I'd say you've got some problems with due process.