A priest, a boy, a mystery

A priest, a boy, a mystery

This case symbolizes the worst of the Scandal. In Springfield, Mass., the murder of an 11-year-old altar boy two decades ago is still unsolved, although the primary suspect has been a priest, Richard Lavigne. In fact, most law enforcement sources say they know he did it, based on circumstantial evidence, but that they never found the physical evidence that would allow him to be charged. And the diocese knew this.

But while the question of who killed Danny Croteau is unanswered—and may never be answered—more certain is that the Diocese of Springfield knew Lavigne was a suspect, and knew of sexual abuse complaints against him, and yet allowed him access as a priest to children for 20 years after the murder.

And even though other sexual abuse complains were made against him, today he is still a priest, even though he was removed from ministry in 1991 and only this year was the laicization process begun.

That Bishop Dupre and his predecessor could know this and do nothing is beyond the pale. How could he sleep at night knowing that Lavigne is likely to have killed an altar boy? What prevented him from acting?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli