Paul Roger Dionne was born in Lewiston, Maine to Armand and Angeline (Bois) Dionne and has a sister Rachel. He graduated from Lewiston High School and Kents Hill Preparatory School where he played hockey and baseball.
Dionne graduated from Providence College where he received his bachelor’s degree in history then was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-1968). He saw action in Vietnam as an advisor to a Vietnamese Armored Cavalry unit and was decorated with two Bronze Stars, two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry, and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge.
After his discharge he returned to Maine and attended the University of Maine Law School where he received a Juris Doctorate degree. He practiced law in Maine, was elected as Mayor of Lewiston (1980-1984). He served as the Workers Compensation Commissioner under two Governors, the Honorable Angus King and the Honorable John Baldacci. While holding this position, he was elected President of the International Association of Industrial Accidents Boards and Commissions.
He has written two novels, The Priestess and The Pope and Madeleine’s Inquisition both with the basic theme that the religious subordination of one sex to the other is wrong.
He is married to Diane Leblanc Dionne and has two children, Melodie and Michelle and five grandchildren Merissa, Michael, Olivia, Charlotte and Brennan. He currently resides in Auburn, Maine.
Madeleine Moreau, poverty stricken and alone, struggles to provide for herself and her children, her future bleak, foreboding and empty. She draws strength in her darkest hour when the Monsignor of Paris charges her with witchcraft and threatens to tear her family apart.
The novel follows the lives of Madeleine Moreau and her antagonist, the Monsignor of Paris... Marc Moreau, Madeleine's husband, and his journey home from Russia following Napoleon's defeat... Madame Leblanc and her disavowal of aristocracy for the cause of liberty... Michel Bois, a popular French sculptor, who forsakes Madeleine for the salvation of France... and the two young priests, whose lives are changed by the chronicles of witchcraft, the vestiges of the Inquisition and the inhumane treatment of women by the Church – bringing them to moral crossroads where each must choose his or her own destiny.
Influenced by the enlightened philosophers of the times, these characters uncover the bigotry of the Church, suffer religious persecution and experience the horrors of war.
The Priestess and The Pope
The Priestess and the Pope wraps a gripping story around the history of women leaders in the early church and the scandal of their subordination in the rise of Christianity. Across eras, readers learn the fate of rebellious churches and women priests as they move through the life and death of Jesus, the fall of the Roman Empire, and the systematic purging of history by the Vatican.
The Priestess and the Pope opens as Gelasius, the Bishop of Rome, issues an epistle prohibiting the further ordination of women and condemning the bishops who ordain them. Samuel, a young papal aide, is sent to deliver the pope’s ultimatum to a church in southern Italia whose history is riddled with both female and married priests. Anna and Joshua, two married priests, keep a close eye on Samuel and convince him to study the heretical documents he has been ordered to destroy. Meanwhile, Maria, a fiery young preacher, falls in love with the man who has been sent to destroy her cherished church.
These characters and others find their lives inextricably entangled in an unfolding drama that moves contentiously from Rome to southern Italia, as Samuel chooses a course that will lead to either a deadly confrontation with Gelasius or the destruction of church history.
"A powerful and provocative story...a very enlightening history of the Church and its evolution. I pray it reaches the right people."
- Fred Hall Sr.