Father Robert Vaillancourt
Diocese of Portland
Placed on leave: 2021
- St. Thomas Aquinas (Madawaska, ME)
- St. Andre (Biddeford, ME)
- Director of Christian Life Center (Upper Frenchville, ME)
- St. Peter Parish (East Millinocket, ME)
- Holy Family (Old Town, ME)
- St. John Vianney Parish (Fort Kent, ME)
- St. Joseph (Bridgton, ME)
- St. Matthew (Hamden, ME)
- St. Gabriel (Winterport, ME)
- Mount Pleasant (Bangor, ME)
- St. Brendan the Navigator Parish (Camden, ME)
- Our Lady of Good Hope (Camden, ME)
- St. Bernard (Rockland, ME)
- St. Francis Assisi (Belfast, ME)
- St. Mary of the Isle Churches (Isleboro, Vinalhaven, and North Haven, ME)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Fr. Robert Vaillancourt:
Fr. Robert Vaillancourt was ordained a priest in 1982 and has served in multiple parishes around in the Mid-Coast region of Maine in the Diocese of Portland for over 40 years. In 1988 Fr. Vaillancourt was named director of the Diocese of Portland’s Youth Ministry Program, where he chaperoned more than 30 annual youth pilgrimages to St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec. He also supervised several delegations of teenagers and young adults during World Youth Day. As a World Youth Day chaperone, Fr. Vaillancourt frequently traveled with minors. In the summer of 2002, Fr. Vaillancourt led a group of 315 teenagers and young adults to see Pope John Paul II in Toronto.
According to media reports, Fr. Robert Vaillancourt was placed on temporary administrative leave from his position as pastor of St. Brendan the Navigator Parish in 2021 after the Diocese of Portland announced that it had received an allegation of sexual abuse in the 1980s against Fr. Vaillancourt. The alleged victim was a minor female. Information regarding the nature of the alleged sexual abuse and Vaillancourt’s assignment at the time of the incident was not provided by the Diocese of Portland.
In September 2021, another woman filed a report with the Biddeford Police Department alleging that she was sexually assaulted when she was 15 years old by Fr. Vaillancourt. The alleged abuse occurred in 1982 when Fr. Vaillancourt was assigned to St. Andre’s Catholic Church in Biddeford. According to the victim’s statement, Fr. Vaillancourt sexually abused her multiple times and eventually raped her. The alleged abuse occurred in the basement and rectory of the church.
As of January 2023, media reports say that Fr. Vaillancourt has been cleared of all abuse allegations. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland said it determined last year that the allegations against the Rev. Robert Vaillancourt were unfounded and no criminal charges were filed as of yet, but It’s not clear if either of the women plan to file civil complaints against Vaillancourt or the diocese. Fr. Vaillancourt has been re-instated as a priest at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Auburn placing him back in harms way.
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