October 10, 2006
St. James School
25 Graham Street
Biddeford, Maine 04005
Dear Ms. Berthiaume,
It has been almost a month since I wrote to you and other Biddeford school and church officials regarding our concerns about a Diocese of Portland priest who has been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of 10 and 12 year-old children while serving as pastor of St. Joseph's Church many years ago.
Approximately ten years ago, this priest was removed from active ministry. However, parishioners were not told the reasons for his removal. He now lives anonymously in one of your neighborhoods. Bishop Richard Malone has failed to warn parents and children of the priest's past history of child sex abuse.
Bishop Malone is still covering up for priests who abused children.
Sadly, I have not received a response to my letter from either you or any other Biddeford church leader. Not one of you has asked for more information. Not one of you has asked for the priest's name and address. Not one of you has expressed any concern for the safety of children in your community.
If you are counting on Bishop Malone to fix this problem, you are sadly mistaken.
Therefore, members of the Ignatius Group will begin to stand in vigil on the sidewalk in front of St. James School. Our signs and leaflets will attempt to alert Biddeford parents and children that Bishop Malone's cover up of a child molester's presence in your community is placing your children at risk of sexual abuse.
Our vigil will be peaceful. We hope that you and members of your staff and faculty will join us and speak to us. We need your help. Vulnerable children must be protected.