Retired Maine priest defrocked over sexual abuse allegations

Bishops listen to Pope Francis during the midday prayer from the Liturgy of Hours, the daily form of prayer of the Catholic Church, with bishops from the U.S., Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — Church officials say a 73-year-old retired Maine Catholic priest has been defrocked by the Vatican over sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1980s.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland said Friday that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican dismissed Antonin Caron from the “clerical state” after substantiating a claim of sexual abuse of a minor.

Caron tells the Portland Press Herald that no abuse took place.

The Lewiston man has been retired since 1994 and was stripped of his ability to perform priestly duties after the diocese received a complaint in 2012 about sexual abuse that occurred years before. There’s no appeal from the final decision.

Caron was charged with sexually assaulting a woman in 1993 but was acquitted after a trial.

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