You may remember the recent story about a deacon who says he was being punished for offering prayers for an outspoken deacon in Buffalo.
Now, an update:
David Baillargeon, a deacon who claimed he was reprimanded for speaking out against the church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse, said Monday that he has been barred from preaching at Holy Family Parish Roman Catholic church in Russell and placed for reassignment.
Baillargeon said he was informed during a morning meeting with the Rev. Ron F. Sadlowski, the pastor at Holy Family Parish, and others that he would no longer be able to conduct weekday masses at the Russell parish.
The deacon said while he had yet to receive a formal letter from Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski — who must approve such reassignments, he was asked to turn in his keys to the church.
Mark Dupont, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, confirmed that Baillargeon will no longer serve as deacon at Holy Family Parish. He added that “the Permanent Diaconate Office will be working with Deacon Baillargeon regarding any potential future assignment.”
…The deacon told The Republican earlier this month that he believed local church officials had prohibited him from preaching at weekend masses after he criticized the Springfield Diocese in a homily two years ago.
He said he faced further pushback after offering prayers for Buffalo, New York, Deacon Paul Snyder, who had called for Catholic Bishop Richard Malone’s resignation.Baillargeon, who was ordained in 2005, said while he has yet to hear further details about his reassignment, he is unlikely to move on to another congregation, given his commitment to Hilltown residents and concerns about his wife’s health.
…Baillargeon further stressed that whether he remains a deacon or not, he’s “still going to be there for anyone who needs (him.)”
“I have no intention of abandoning the people who need me. That’s for sure,” he said, adding that he’s “not going to stop telling the truth.”
Sadlowski, who has rejected the suggestion he retaliated against his deacon, said his decision to “strongly suggest” to Rozanski that Baillargeon be reassigned was based a series of incidents that have occurred in recent years.
“It began when he used the pulpit to speak against the bishop and that’s where I asked him to make a promise that he would not use the pulpit to speak against the bishop … It’s not just the last time, to blame it on the deacon that he prayed for, but it’s an ongoing process,” he said.
A Google search turned up some background on Deacon Baillargeon and his work on behalf of victims of sexual abuse by clergy.