Click here to advertise on

An abuser unafraid of the consequences?

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. (articles ) | Sep 30, 2003

The Scandal continues in western Massachusetts with an investigation in Richard Lavigne, a priest who went to jail for molesting two brothers. The question being asked is when Diocese of Springfield leaders knew about Lavigne's abuse. A confidant of the former bishop says the diocese knew back in the 60s. What makes this case even more disturbing is the still unsolved murder of an altar boy and suspicion that Lavigne may have been involved.

The affidavit paints Lavigne, a registered sex offender who now lives in Chicopee, as arrogant and unafraid of the questions being raised about his behavior. On one occasion in the 1970s, Lavigne told DeMontigny "his pastor had admonished him concerning boys in his bedroom," according to the affidavit. "Lavigne was contemptuous of the pastor's attempt to exert his authority over him. He said something to the effect that 'they can't do anything to me,' and laughed about it," the affidavit reads.
What would be the reason Lavigne could be so unafraid and confident that diocesan officials could do nothing to him? It's almost like he had something held over their heads. Perhaps blackmail?

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,821 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,178.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Sterling - Oct. 01, 2003 11:41 PM ET USA

    Here's a man who molested two brothers and maybe was involved in the murder of an altar boy. Does he sound like he's a model of rationality to you? Must he "have something" on diocesan officials simply because he's unafraid of them? Twisted people are often unafraid and arrogant. Maybe he thinks he can zap them with his magic ring.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2003 12:18 AM ET USA

    I could write you a book or TWO. Lavigne had an accomplice, priest of another diocese, mine. That crepe was once my student, and I'll swear he was "minus the brain." How he got ordained? Cronyism. He re-victimized one of Lavigne's victims. He had been linked to the two "king-pins" of the perv-priests' network in my diocese, serving as their "curate." I could give you chapters & chapters, and would not have to "break the seal." This whole thing: murky, sickening, & vicious beyond your imagining.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2003 12:01 AM ET USA

    "Blackmail" = true name of game. Those who SHOULD act do not, for fear of what preditors "have on them." I first became aware of widespread pervert priests' "underground" in 1959, so no product of lax seminaries of 70s, 80s. It exists because most of clergy I have known are HABITUAL LIARS. Burned into my memory, words of priest saying: "Why didn't you cover up for him? Then he would have covered up for you." My reply: "If I ever need covering up, please shoot me, & remind me I asked you to."

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17