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Vermont bishop: Bishop Marshall was wrong to permit priest-abuser Paquette to minister

October 06, 2009

Bishop Salvatore Matano, who has led Vermont’s sole diocese since 2005, has told a jury that Bishop John Marshall was wrong to permit notorious abuser Edward Paquette, now laicized, to minister in the diocese. Bishop John Marshall led the Diocese of Burlington from 1971 to 1991 and also led the apostolic visitation of American seminaries in the early 1980s -- a visitation now widely viewed as a whitewash that turned a blind eye to the problem of homosexual activity in many seminaries of the time. Bishop Marshall died in 1994.

“It was a wrong decision, and I would not have made that decision,” Bishop Matano said to the jury. “Father Paquette was not suitable for ministry in this diocese.”

“I absolutely am sorry for what happened ... and would not have accepted Edward Paquette into this diocese,” Bishop Matano added. “I was not ordained a priest nor did I become a bishop to put children at risk.”

“What was in the mind of Bishop Marshall at that time I simply do not know. I wish Bishop Marshall could be here himself and say why he made this decision. I can’t enter into the mind of a dead man.”


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