Maine’s Catholic Bishop Appeals Priest Abuse Ruling 

Maine’s Roman Catholic bishop is supporting an appeal to the Vatican of a church tribunal’s finding that sexual abuse accusations against an 81-year-old priest were not proven. At issue are allegations against the Rev. Thomas Lee, who was suspended from ministry in 2003 and resigned six months later following an investigation into allegations regarding sexual abuse of minors. The tribunal made up of three priests from outside the Diocese of Portland ruled this summer that the accusations were not proven but acknowledged that Lee’s actions were imprudent. Lee served in parishes in Millinocket, Boothbay Harbor, Bath and Lyman and spent 15 years as a hospital and prison chaplain. He remains out of ministry until the case is resolved.