Abuse settlement reached in case of priest who committed suicide

Fr. Paul Archambault took his own life in 2011

Father Paul Archambault is seen here in a WWLP file image from 2005, giving an interview following his ordination.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese has reached a settlement concerning an abuse allegation of a minor by the late Father Paul Archambault. According to a statement from the Diocese of Springfield, Fr. Archambault committed suicide in 2011 apparently after being confronted with the abuse allegations.

A native of Northampton, Fr. Archambault had been assigned or did ministry work in Holy Name of Jesus in Chicopee, St. Mary in Hampden, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Northampton, St. Theresa in South Hadley, and Our Lady of Sacred Heart in Springfield. He had also served as a hospital chaplain. The Diocese did not say whether the victim was male or female, but had known Fr. Archambault for many years prior to his ordination as a priest.

In the statement, Bishop Mitchell Rozanski said, “I want to extend to all victims my sincere apology for what they had to endure. I want to assure them and the entire community of my fervent resolve to continue to address this terrible plague upon our Church through our ongoing screening, education and awareness efforts. We must never let our guard down; rather we must all remain vigilant.”

The diocese has now added Fr. Archambault’s name to the official list of clergy with credible claims of abuse. Reports of abuse by clergy or someone working for the Catholic Church should be reported to local law enforcement, as well as the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 413-452-0624 or the confidential line at 1-800-842-9055.

Archambault was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the rectory of Our Lady of Sacred Heart. Springfield police said that he had not left behind a suicide note.

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