A Bangor priest has been removed from the priesthood, after the Roman Catholic Diocese in Portland said he 'inflamed' events leading up to a woman's murder.

Reverend Anthony Cipolle has called himself a 'spiritual advisor' to Renee Henneberry Clark and called her his best friend, denying in court any romantic relationship with her. In 2018, Clark was going through a divorce, when her estranged husband's brother showed up at her residence to take some tools. Cipolle and Philip Clark got into a fight that left Clark with multiple wounds. A few hours later, Clark killed Renee by shooting her multiple times. He told investigators that she had pushed every button he had.

The Portland Press Herald reports a statement from the Roman Catholic Diocese said Cipolle had inflamed the situation, rather than defusing it. They went on to say that he abused his position as a member of the clergy, violated the code of ethics, and tried to deceive investigators. They did not explain what the alleged deception involved. Cipolle has not been a practicing priest since taking leave to care for his sick mother. who had terminal cancer. She has since passed away, and Cipolle has been living in his family's Massachusetts home ever since.

In a statement, he has denied the allegations that he inflamed the situation or breached the code of ethics and says, while he will abide by the decision, he plans to challenge the accusations through the church's court system. Cipolle served as vicar at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Bangor until his leave of absence in December of 2018.

The Roman Catholic Diocese says Cipolle will not be given another assignment and will not be allowed to function or present himself as a priest.

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