Bishop Dupre indicted

Bishop Dupre indicted

Bishop Thomas Dupre, formerly of Springfield, Mass., has been indicted on child rape charges. He has the ignominious distinction of being the first US bishop to be criminally charged with child rape.

Dupre abruptly resigned in February, citing health problems, just one day before he was confronted with allegations of being a sex abuser by a local newspaper. As I said then, if you’re not guilty, don’t act like it: “Running out of town suddenly without telling anyone where yout. The DA that impanelled the grand jury has now announced that the statute of limitations has expired. In essence, the DA has revealed to the public that he would have tried to convict Dupre if he’d had the chance. I’m sure Bennett is exacting some sort of “frontier justice” on the bishop, a sort of “If we can’t get you in court, at least we’ll let everyone know what we think of you.”

  • I used to post on a message board where another poster claimed to be a priest and the Diocesan Vicar of Springfield.  He tended to side with the liberals on the board, opposing any traditional Catholic thought.  He and I had many disagreements.  He was quite proud of the administration of the Springfield chancery.  This was, of course, before scandal touched Springfield.

    It used to drive him crazy when I would bring up Satan.  He believed evil wasn’t a force at all, but merely an absence of goodness.  He mocked me repeatedly when I suggested there was anything to the Masonic conspiracy that Popes have taught us about.  And sometimes when he didn’t have an answer to something I had posed, he would retort in another language which he knew I didn’t understand.  Someone would usually provide a translation in email, and it would be a comment unworthy of a priest.  One born of pride and arrogance. 

    He used two screen names so as to talk to himself, and kept denying others charges that the two posters sounded alike.  Then he tripped himself up, making a post that revealed his ruse, and he was called on it.  After that he dropped one of the screen names.

    I have no way of knowing positively that he was who he said he was, of course; but when I read stories about Springfield, I think of him invariably.

  • While Dupre was an auxiliary bishop of Springfield (and Joseph Maguire was the ordinary), I had the great misfortune to have been in St. John’s Seminary while a number of Springfield’s seminarians cavorted there.  There was an overt homosexuality to (while not all) so many of them, especially in the years up to 1992, that I had begun to suspect that something was rotten at the higher levels.  Indeed, after the Springfield seminarian who had made a physical sexual attack on me was finally (two years later) expelled from SJS, I found out in 1994 that he had been admitted to a religious order to study for the priesthood.  This order was one whose primary charism was teaching in boys’ high schools.  What drove me nearly insane was that Canon Law expressly prohibits candidates once expelled from seminary from re-joining another seminary without the expressed written approval and consent of either the rector of the previous seminary or the ordinary of his diocese.  What that meant was that, after attacking me (and at least four others), this seminarian was finally expelled and two years later given carte blanche to begin assaulting other men by his diocesan bishop (our rector assured me that he had not given such permission). 

    The name of the diocesan bishop at that time?  Thomas Dupre.

  • I find it so hard to imagine what it would take for me to encourage my sons to consider a vocation to the Catholic priesthood.

  • I find it so hard to imagine what it would take for me to encourage my sons to consider a vocation to the Catholic priesthood.

    I’m sorry, but as a seminarian I find this attitude appalling.  If God is calling any of your sons to the priesthood then He will provide for their every need.  After attending the Eucharistic Congress in Washington, DC this weekend, the one in Atlanta earlier in the summer, and now at a seminary of 152 dynamic, highly talented men who deeply love the Lord and His Church, I can say with certainty that the next generation of priests is solid.  That you would possibly be an obstacle to your sons vocations because of your jadedness is unconscionable.

  • I can honestly say that Bishop Maguire is a good guy… my dad knew him very well years ago when he was a priest in Boston. Maguire passed up a major league baseball career in order to enter the seminary, he’s a man’s man and was an excellent priest.

    Bryan… thank you and you will be in my prayers. From what I see, the younger priests and the upcoming ones are orthodox and faithful. I would be grateful and humbled if my son joined them – with my blessings if he was truly called.

  • Bishop Dupre, his story, his diocese, his legacy is the norm of the Catholic Church in the United States, except he got caught.

    The thorough top-to-bottom reform of the process of selecting bishops, seminary admissions, formation, etc. has not happened nor is it likely to.

    Dozens of bishops should have resigned on their own initiative rather than the handful who have been caught and forced to resign.  The so-called ‘good’ bishops have utterly failed to take action against the ‘bad’.

    There has not been an acknowledgement that homosexuality is the core of the sexual abuse crisis.

    The last word on the scandal was from Bishop Gregory who called it ‘history’.  We’re still decades away from calling this ‘hisory’.

  • “Unconscionable”? Well, that’s your opinion. I didn’t say I would stand in the way of their vocation, if they had one, only that I wouldn’t encourage it. I could not feel good about any son of mine willingly entering into that sordid mess. It seems to me it would take heroic sanctity to get through it (and in fact priest friends of mine who did make it through there with their faith intact and their bums unmolested testify that indeed it is a hell of a slog). If that’s what God is calling one of my boys to, then I hope I have the faith not to be a stumbling block to them. But it’s not something I’d wish on my boys.

    It’s odd, but if this were, say, communist Poland, and a life in the priesthood would earn them persecution from the government, I would consider it such an incredible honor. But when the persecution comes from within, it just reduces me to nothing.

  • Interesting, but we may not have heard the last about Bishop Thomas Dupre.

    According to a News article on CourtTV, all the paperwork will be handed over from Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett to “federal authorities, as well as officials in Canada, New Hampshire and New York where some of the alleged abuse took place.”

    Might this be the case for RICO?

    Sister M