Thursday, October 27, 2005

More on Fr. Aquino

More on Fr. Aquino from noted Catholic journalist Matt Abbott in a column for

Catholic activist: Worcester priest is lying
By Matt C. Abbott
Oct 25, 2005

Stephen Brady, founder and president of the Petersburg, Ill.-based Roman Catholic Faithful, a lay watchdog group, says that Father James Aquino, pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Worcester, Mass., is lying about a citation he received in 2004 for lewd conduct while in Las Vegas.

According to an Oct. 25, 2005 story in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Aquino, 66, “told several hundred parishioners gathered at the Massasoit Road church, ‘that I never, never, never engaged in any sexual activity of any kind. I was never arrested, I was never handcuffed and I was never taken to the police station.’”

Aquino “acknowledged receiving a citation for lewd conduct, obstructing and providing false information … while vacationing in Las Vegas with Monsignor Louis P. Piermarini, calling the charges ‘false accusations.’ After a nearly 11-month continuance, the charges were dismissed Sept. 6 in the Justice Court of Las Vegas during which Rev. Aquino met several conditions, including counseling and 50 hours of community service,” according to the story.

Aquino admitted only to entering an adult bookstore, calling it a “very stupid mistake.”

But Brady isn’t buying Aquino’s explanation.

"Aguino was seen, by two police officers, committing a lewd act with another man. I have seen the police report. Anyone who believes one can be charged with committing a lewd act simply for entering a bookstore … is out of his mind,” says Brady.

The summer 2005 issue of RCF’s newsletter, “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,” contains the following information about the case (edited):

On October 24, 2004, two undercover Las Vegas police officers, while in an adult book store and theater, observed one Larry xxxx and Father James Aquino engaging in lewd conduct in a place open to the public (Arrest Report #1920773)….

Both men were escorted outside. Aquino said he had no identification on him -- checks were run on a fake social security number furnished by Aquino, with negative results. After a few minutes he admitted he had identification in his shoe, a Massachusetts driver’s license. The picture reflected Aquino in a Roman collar, and he admitted he gave false information because he was a priest. He was cited for lewd conduct, obstructing and false information.

Father James Aquino is pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Worcester, Mass., and is director of the permanent diaconate program for the diocese. This information was furnished to Bishop McManus of the Worcester, Mass., diocese in March 2005. There has been no response to our inquiry from the bishop’s office.

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He is a columnist for and/or contributor to,,,, and He is also an occasional contributor to "The Wanderer" Catholic newspaper. He can be reached at

Paul Anthony Melanson

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