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 in the Diocese of Portland. During his nearly 40-year career, Fr. Vaillancourt served several parishes in the Mid-Coast region of Maine. In 1988 he was named director of Diocese of Portland’s Youth Ministry Program. As director, 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 on trip 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 1980’s 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, a woman filed a report with the Biddeford Police Department alleging that she was sexually assaulted when she was 15 years-old by Fr. Robert Vaillancourt. The alleged abuse took place 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.
After a yearlong investigation by Catholic Church officials regarding the two sexual assault allegations, Vaillancourt is being returned to active ministry. In July 2022, the Diocese of Portland announced that “the findings of the investigations, including contradictory evidence, determined the allegations were unfounded and could not have occurred.”
The communications director for SNAP stated, The “allegations against Fr. Vaillancourt still have us concerned. We know that false allegations of child sexual abuse are extremely rare, and we stand with these two women who stepped forward with courage.”
Vaillancourt’s new position has not been announced yet.
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