The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Vatican Defrocks Two Massachusetts Priests


For immediate release:
Friday, Dec. 1, 2006

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)

Springfield Catholic officials still have a duty to warn adults and protect kids from these two dangerous predators. Springfield church authorities recruited, educated, ordained, hired, paid, transferred and shielded these child molesters.

Changing a sex offender's job title doesn't cure him. These former priests should still be regarded as dangerous, and we pray that anyone with knowledge of their crimes - whether victims or witnesses - they come forward quickly.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 17 years and have more than 7,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home),
Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747),
Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688),
Mary Grant (626-419-2930),
Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)

Vatican Defrocks Two Roman Catholic Priests

Diocese: Men Had Credible Allegations Against Them

Dupont would not give details of the accusations nor would he specify the number of children who were allegedly abused.

Graves had been out of the ministry since 1994, Dupont said. There is no Massachusetts phone listing for Graves.

Kennedy was treated in a church-run psychiatric center following his resignation as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Northampton in 1991. In recent years, Kennedy lived and worked as a chaplain at the church-run Providence Place retirement home in Holyoke. He no longer lives there. A call placed to a number listed to an Edward M. Kennedy in Holyoke was not immediately returned.

Two other priests from the Springfield Diocese have been defrocked. In April, Richard Meehan was defrocked by the Vatican amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Richard Lavigne, who was accused by more than 20 men of abusing them as minors, was defrocked two years ago.

Lavigne, identified by investigators as a suspect but never charged in the 1972 slaying of altar boy Danny Croteau, was convicted in 1992 of molesting two altar boys.

Graves and Kennedy are named as defendants in lawsuits against the diocese filed by Greenfield lawyer John Stobierski, who in 2004 helped negotiate a $7.7 million settlement between the diocese and 46 victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests