PORTLAND, Maine — A final decision has been returned from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican regarding Antonin R. Caron, ordained a priest for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, who has been retired since 1994.
According to the Diocese of Portland, the Holy See has dismissed Caron from the clerical state for a substantiated claim of sexual abuse of a minor. The complaint was received from an individual in November 2012, who reported that the sexual abuse occurred in the early 1980s.
After receiving the complaint, the Diocesan Office of Professional Responsibility conducted a full investigation and, as with every report of possible sexual abuse of a minor by a church representative, immediately notified public authorities. Upon completion of the investigation, the case was referred to the Diocesan Review Board, an independent review entity comprised mostly of lay people, which confirmed the findings of the Office of Professional Responsibility that the claim of abuse was substantiated.
Subsequently, Bishop Robert P. Deeley sent Caron’s case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has competence to determine the course of action to be taken in such cases. The diocese investigates all allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. The removal of any church personnel from ministry due to such complaints is always publicized.
The decision of the Congregation has been confirmed by Pope Francis and does not allow for any possibility of appeal. Dismissal from the clerical state means that Caron can no longer function or present himself as a priest.
Caron retired from active ministry due to medical reasons in 1994 and stepped down from all public ministry in 2010. He was born in Lewiston and ordained to the priesthood in 1969. During his time in active ministry, he was assigned to Notre Dame Parish in Waterville; St. Margaret Parish in Old Orchard Beach; St. Mary Parish in Lewiston; St. Mary Parish in Presque Isle; St. Michael Parish in South Berwick; Cathedral Parish in Portland; St. Ignatius Parish in Sanford; Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Mechanic Falls; St. Gregory Parish, Gray; St. Mary Parish, Eagle Lake; and St. James Parish, Woodland.
The bishop said anyone with information about this or any case of sexual abuse of a minor by a church representative should contact civil authorities as well as Michael Magalski, director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the diocese, at (207) 321-7836 or at email@example.com.