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Safe Environments

It is with the intention that relationships in ministry be experienced at all times as charitable and without intention to do harm that an extensive Code of Ethics and Integrity in Ministry has been adopted by the Society of Saint Edmund.

How The Society of Saint Edmund Responds To Complaints Of Sexual Misconduct

The Society of Saint Edmund responds to all allegations of sexual misconduct with great care. To ensure that we handle each instance promptly, thoroughly, and compassionately, the Society of Saint Edmund has designated Fr. David Theroux, S.S.E., as the person responsible for pastoral outreach. Fr. Theroux will listen to, understand, and offer help, including appropriate psychological counseling for those affected by Member misconduct.

The Society of Saint Edmund, through our pastoral outreach and independent investigators, will respond swiftly to evaluate and investigate any accusation of sexual misconduct by a Member. Any Members who have engaged in the sexual abuse of a minor will join the Society's Aftercare Program. This rigorous relapse prevention program provides appropriate psychological treatment specific for offenders, and entails ongoing monitoring and supervision for the rest of their lives in the Society. The Society of Saint Edmund, consistent with the directives of the Catholic Bishop's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, has also established a Review Board. This interdisciplinary board of lay professionals advises the Society on all matters related to sexual misconduct.

Preventing Sexual Misconduct

In addition to establishing procedures for responding to sexual misconduct, the Society of Saint Edmund has undertaken a series of measures to prevent future incidents of abuse. These include extensive mandatory psychological evaluation of seminarians and novices before they enter formation and the provision of continuing education programs for Members about issues of sexuality and personal conduct, including a minimum of one hour each year on issues of child safety and vulnerable adult safety along with how to report instances of child abuse and the abuse of vulnerable adults. It is our firm belief that religious must maintain appropriate boundaries with laypersons in order to preserve the integrity of the ministerial relationship. Moreover, we call upon those with knowledge of a Member' s inappropriate behavior-whether past or present-to come forward with this information so that innocent victims may be spared from further harm. In short, we ask everyone to join with us to protect the safety of children, women, and men, and with firm determination to promote healing where there is pain.

Where To Turn For Help

If you or someone you know believes that a Member has violated the boundaries outlined in this pamphlet, we urge you to report such behavior immediately to Fr. David Theroux. Your case will be handled with the strictest sensitivity and confidentiality. His contact information is as follows:

Fr. David Theroux, S.S.E.

Society of Saint Edmund

1 Winooski Park, Box 270

Colchester, VT 05439

List of Edmundites Against Whom We Have Received Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

We Edmundites are profoundly sorry for any and all incidents involving the sexual abuse of
minors by members of our Society. In the interest of transparency we have examined our
records for the past seventy-five years and have decided to publish all allegations that have
been received, whether or not they have been substantiated. Allegations against only four
members are listed as “substantiated.” The others came either after the death of the accused,
who were not able to respond to the allegations, or from persons who were not able or willing
to follow up with deeper investigations, or who expressly requested that there be no further
steps taken beyond their unburdening themselves of their stories. We have given pastoral
attention and care and appropriate support to all who have approached us.


The Society of Saint Edmund is fully accredited by Praesidium, a national organization for the
prevention of sexual abuse. The most recent substantiated alleged incident of the sexual abuse
of a minor by an Edmundite occurred in the 1980’s. It was reported and addressed
immediately in 1991.


Laurence A. Boucher
Ordained 1943.
Deceased May 27, 1972.
Allegation of the abuse of a minor in Florida in the 1960’s received in 2015, only after his death.

 

Paul A. Gopaul
Ordained 1952
Deceased July 27, 1988
Allegation of the abuse of a minor in Vermont in 1969 received in 2020, only after his death.

 

John A. Lanoue
Ordained 1940.
Deceased June 16, 1980.
Allegation of the abuse of a minor in Vermont in 1954 received in 1996, only after his death.

 

Edward A. Leary
Ordained 1953.
Retired from ministry in 1995.
Allegation of the abuse of a minor in Alabama in 1972-1974 received in 1998, only after his
retirement, and not substantiated.
All claims released and discharged in 1999.
Deceased April 4, 2000.

 

Charles G. Many
Ordained 1974.
Substantiated allegation of the abuse of a minor in Vermont, about 1981 or 1982, received in
1986.

Removed from ministry immediately in 1986.
Substantiated allegations of abuse in Connecticut, between 1978 and 1981, received in 1993-
1994, and again in 2019.
Released from religious vows in the Society of Saint Edmund in 1994.
Laicized in 1995.

 

J. Lawrence Ouimet
Ordained 1974.
Exclaustrated to the Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut in 1987.
Incardinated into the Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut in 1988.
Deceased February 16, 2002.
Substantiated allegation of the abuse of a minor in Connecticut in the 1980’s received in 2019,
only after his death.

 

Paul A. Pinard
Ordained 1959.
Substantiated allegation of the abuse of minors in Vermont in the 1980’s received in 1991.
Removed from ministry immediately in 1991.
Deceased June 12, 2017.

 

Paul I. Plouffe
Ordained 1945.
Deceased 2004.
Allegation of the abuse of a minor in Vermont in 1946 received in 2006, only after his death.

 

John A. Stankiewicz
Ordained 1941.
Retired from ministry in 1989.
Substantiated allegation of the abuse of minors in Vermont in the 1950’s received in 1992, only
after his retirement.
Deceased January 12, 2000.

 

Edward J. Stapleton
Ordained 1948.
Deceased 1983.
Allegation of the abuse of a minor in Vermont about 1974 received in 2004, only after his
death.

 

Aime J. Trahan
Ordained 1938.
Retired in 1979.
Deceased August 14, 1984.
Allegation of the abuse of a minor in Vermont in the 1950’s received in 2004, only after his
death.

 

Nelson B. Ziter
Ordained 1947.
Substantiated allegation of the abuse of a minor in Alabama 1974-1979 received in 1993.

For more information please visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/charter.cfm