WINTHROP, Maine — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland says it has confirmed sexual abuse complaints against a priest that took place more than 60 years ago.
Bishop Richard Malone read a letter Saturday to parishioners at St. Francis Xavier Church in Winthrop that said the incidents involving the Rev. Joseph R. McGowan took place between 1936 and 1949 while McGowan served as pastor at the church.
Malone said he is directing the removal of any memorials or tributes to McGowan on church property. Church officials say the Winthrop council of the Knights of Columbus is removing McGowan’s name from its charter at the bishop’s request.
McGowan died in 1962 at the age of 72. He served at churches in Augusta, Portland and Winthrop before retiring in 1957.