Fr. Edward Paquette – Diocese of Burlington

| Apr 10, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Edward Paquette 

Diocese of Burlington

Ordained: 1957

Removed: 1963

Laicized: 2009 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1972-1974      Christ the King (Rutland, VT)
  • 1975-1976      St. Augustine (Montpelier, VT)
  • 1976-1978      Christ the King (Burlington, VT)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Edward Paquette:

Father Edward Paquette was ordained for the Diocese of Fall River in Massachusetts. He served in Vermont for approximately 6 years. According to media reports, in 1963 his priestly faculties were removed for being a serial sexual abuser of boys. He was sent to treatment in Indiana, and worked in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. 

In 1972, he was accepted into the Diocese Burlington. Two years later in 1974, he was sent to treatment, and then again in 1978, when his faculties were removed. According to an internal memo the diocese “No longer could keep lid on things.” 

Just before more complaints led to the priest’s termination in 1978, then Bishop John Marshall wrote a colleague, “Despite the demands of two sets of irate parents that ‘something be done about this,’ Father Paquette’s pastor and I are determined to take the risk of leaving him in his present assignment,” “Our thinking is that, knowing the awareness of others concerning his problem, Father Paquette will have reason for ‘self-control.’”

Child sexual abuse allegations against Father Paquette were reported in Massachusetts, Indiana and Vermont, including the abuse of a hospitalized male teen who was a quadriplegic. 

In April 2006, the first Vermont lawsuit was settled for $965,000. In March 2007, Father Paquette was named in another suit. In May 2008, a jury awarded one plaintiff $8.7 million. Another lawsuit against him was settled in July 2008. Another suit was tried in August 2008, but was declared a mistrial. In December 2008, a claim was settled for $3.6 million. 

Father Paquette was laicized in January 2009. It was announced in May. 

In October 2009, a jury awarded $2.2 million to a plaintiff. In May 2010, nineteen of twenty-six  cases were settled, as well as three more which were on appeal. Father Paquette was living in Westfield Massachusetts, serving in the Diocese of Springfield at the time. 

In 2010, four more suits were filed. Eleven were settled in January 2013. 

In September 2018, Father Paquette‘s name appeared publicly in the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

Prompted by an external review of their documents conducted by former FBI Assistant Director William Galvin, in January 2019, the Diocese of Fall River announced plans to release a list of credibly accused clergy. 

In January 2020, Father Paquette’s name was included in a list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors released by some of his victims’ attorney.

In August 2019, Father Paquette‘s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Burlington’s list of clergy credibly accused.

His current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Burlington.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Burlington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Burlington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.