Spotlight on abuse: Episcopal priest William Ducharme

By | December 6, 2022
Anglican Watch

Shortly after he became bishop, Bishop Lawrence Provenzano defrocked Episcopal priest William Ducharme. No explanation for the decision was offered. Recent evidence suggests Provenzano may have known that Ducharme sexually abused children, and defrocked Ducharme as a cover-up.

In conjunction with the opening of New York state’s recent look-back period, a lawsuit was filed against the Diocese of New York, Bishop Provenzano, the now-defunct St. Margaret of Scotland parish, the Episcopal Church in New York,  and Ducharme. Among the allegations were that Ducharme took boys swimming and sexually molested them.

In the filing obtained by Anglican Watch, the Episcopal Church in New York denies any duty of care to parishioners. Instead, it tries to assert that clergy discipline is handled entirely at the diocesan level, despite the fact that the national church claims a trust interest in local parish property and has been a party to the recent property recovery litigation.

Following the closure of St. Margaret’s, where Ducharme served, he had been serving as supply clergy in the diocese.

Anglican Watch believes that Provenzano’s failure to disclose may have prevented additional victims from coming forward and prevented parents from taking precautions to protect their chidren.

Further, the Episcopal Church in New York needs to be less worried about liability and more concerned about healing and accountability.

A copy of the Episcopal Church in New York’s legal filing is included below.


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