Norwich, Connecticut — The Diocese of Norwich on Sunday released the names of 43 priests who are accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The priests have all served in Connecticut and have had "allegations of substance" made against them, according to a news release.
Diocese of Norwich Bishop Michael Cote said the allegations of sexual abuse dates back to formation of the diocese in 1953, according to a letter shared by the diocese. Cote stressed that no active priest is the subject of abuse allegations.
The diocese has paid out $7.7 million in settlements with victims in nine cases, according to the diocese's letter. A total of 23 more cases are pending and some victims missed the deadline to file suit, The New London Day also reports.
"I am grievously sorry for the horrific sins and crimes made against the most vulnerable among us who have suffered sexual abuse and misconduct. I offer my deepest and heartfelt apology on behalf of the Church to victims of child abuse and their families suffering painful life-long consequences," Cote wrote in his letter, which can be viewed in its entirety at the end of this story.
Robert W. Barnes, Ordained 02-23-1980, Removed from ministry in 2002; Deceased 2008
Bernard W. Bissonnette, Ordained 05-15-1958, Dismissed from clerical state 2005; Deceased 2008
Richard T. Buongirno, Ordained 05-26-1984, Removed from ministry in 1998; Dismissed from the clerical state 2005
Salvatore L. Busca, Ordained 06-04-1955, Removed from ministry in 1961; Excardinated from the Diocese of Norwich 1969; Perpetually professed into the Servants of the Paraclete; Deceased 2006
Anthony R. Caron, Ordained 07-14-1935, Removed from ministry in 1959; Deceased 1969
Dennis G. Carey, Ordained 05-30-1998, Arrested and removed from ministry in 2012; Deceased 2013
Santino A. Casimano, Ordained 08-16-1975, Removed from ministry in 2004; Deceased 2005
Roger M. Comtois, Ordained 06-05-1955, Removed from ministry in 1988; Deceased 1998
James A. Curry, Ordained 05-26-1949, Removed from ministry in 1981; Deceased 1986
Edward F. Frigault, Ordained 05-26-1949, Removed from ministry in 2002; Deceased 2008
Denis Galipeau, Ordained 05-27-1961, Removed from ministry in 1964; Excardinated from Diocese of Norwich 1970; Incardinated into Archdiocese of Montreal
Roman S. Gromala, Ordained 05-18-1950, Left Diocesan Ministry 1955; Excardinated from Diocese of Norwich 1972; Incardinated into Diocese of St. Petersburg; Deceased 1991
Paul L. Hebert, Ordained 05-23-1959, Removed from ministry 2004; Deceased in 2010
Raymond J. Jean, Ordained 07-13-1957, Removed from ministry in 1990; Deceased in 2001
John A. Kozon, Ordained 05-26-1949, Removed from ministry 2005; Deceased 2013
Vincent F. Marino, Ordained 05-28-1983, Excardinated from Diocese of Norwich 1989; Incardinated into Archdiocese of Siracusa, Italy, prior to receiving allegation
R. Thomas McConaghy, Ordained 05-30-1981, Removed from ministry in 2005
Joseph P. Murphy, Ordained 09-24-1988, Removed from ministry in 1998; Deceased 2015
John C. Nash, Ordained 05-10-1975, Removed from ministry in 2002; Petitioned for removal from the clerical state 2002; Deceased 2010
J. Lawrence Ouimet, Ordained 06-15-1974, Removed from ministry 1999; Deceased 2002
John B. Ramsay, Ordained 05-10-1956, Retired 1977 before any allegations received; Deceased 1994
Thomas W. Shea, Ordained 06-29-1946, Removed from ministry 1984; Deceased 2006
LIST OF CLERGY WITH ALLEGATIONS OF SUBSTANCE OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR
PRIESTS INCARDINATED IN ANOTHER DIOCESE WHO SERVED IN THE DIOCESE OF NORWICH
Louis Paturzo, Ordained 05-26-73, Removed from ministry 2002; Dismissed from the clerical state 2008
Bruno Primavera, Ordained 1973, Removed from ministry 1980; Deceased 2006
PRIESTS BELONGING TO A RELIGIOUS ORDER WHO SERVED IN THE DIOCESE OF NORWICH
Richard Cardarelli, OFM Cap., Ordained 05-29-1982 (Capuchin Fathers), Dismissed from the clerical state 1994
Thomas J. Doyle, SM, Ordained 10-06-1974, (Society of Mary), Removed from ministry in 1992; Deceased 2007
Charles Many, SSE, Ordained 01-26-1974 (Society of St. Edmund), Assigned in Diocese by Religious Order 1978; Reassigned by Religious Order 1981 before allegation received
Eugene Orteneau, SJ, Ordained 06-19-1982 (Society of Jesus), Reassigned by Religious Order 1981; Deceased 2009
Robert Leo Pelkington, OP, Ordained 1968, Removed from ministry; Dismissed from the clerical state 2011; Deceased 2015
Patrick Sullivan, OCSO, Ordained 06-12-1954 (Trappist), Dismissed from the clerical state 1970
Thomas Paschal, OSB, Order of St. Benedict, Reassigned by Religious Order 1993
Joseph Buckley, Ordained 05-21-1932 (Hartford), Deceased 1975
William J. Cullen, SJ, Ordained 1965 (Society of Jesus), Removed from ministry in 2005; Deceased 2010
Joseph Gorecky, Ordained 1959 (Bridgeport), Deceased 1988
Michael Krol, Ordained 1945 (Austin, TX), Left Diocese 1963; Deceased 1996
LIST OF CLERGY WITH ALLEGATIONS OF SUBSTANCE OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR
Felix Maguire, Ordained 05-18-1950 (Hartford), Removed from ministry 1992; Deceased 2008
Edward P. McGrath, SDB, Ordained 06-29-1969 (Salesians Don Bosco), Deceased 1998
Frank J. McManus, SJ, Ordained 06-09-1973 (Society of Jesus), Deceased 2015
Peter Mitchell, Ordained 05-03-1951 (Hartford), Removed from ministry 2001
Paul Pinard, SSE, Ordained 05-22-1959 (Society of St. Edmund), Removed from Diocesan ministry 2004; Deceased 2017
Edward Reardon, Ordained 05-14-1931 (Hartford), Deceased 1991
Robert E. Shea, Ordained 05-22-1941 (Hartford), Deceased 1995
Felix Werpechowski, Ordained 05-25-1929 (Hartford), Deceased 1972
Here is the full letter shared and written by Bishop Michael R. Cote
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I shared with you in January what the Diocese of Norwich is doing to address the scourge of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and our commitment to restore trust and faith and ensure a safe environment in our churches, schools, and other institutions. The Diocese of Norwich is committed to protecting children and young people so that the tragedy of sexual abuse does not occur.
The Diocese of Norwich, since the enactment of its first Sexual Misconduct Policy in 1990 and the implementation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002, continues to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy (bishops, priests, and deacons) and has experienced a significant reduction of reported allegations of abuse. But, one act of abuse is too many and we must always remain vigilant in protecting children and young people.
In the spirit of accountability and transparency and on the recommendations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board, the Diocese of Norwich is providing a list of clergy who have had allegations of substance made against them alleging sexual abuse of a minor. An "Allegation of substance" means:
An allegation in which the accused has pled guilty or nolo contendere or been prosecuted and found guilty in a civil criminal court of any incident of sexual misconduct of a minor; and/or
An allegation has been investigated and has been determined to be reasonable, plausible, probable, and bearing the semblance of truth; and/or
An allegation that is corroborated with other evidence or another source; and/or
An allegation that has been acknowledged or admitted to by the accused.
The names presented of the accused clergy with allegations of substance is based on the review of all clergy records by a team of volunteer lay people with law enforcement and canonical experience. The publication of names will be updated as any new information becomes available.
The names of those clergy in the Diocese of Norwich who have been accused over the past 65 years, since the establishment of the diocese on August 6, 1953, will be posted on the diocesan website, www.norwichdiocese.org at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 10th, and published in this month's Four County Catholic, our diocesan newspaper.
The list includes the names of priests who are deceased, have been dismissed from the clerical state, and those who have been removed from all ministry. All allegations found to have substance have been addressed when reported. There is currently no priest or deacon in active ministry with an allegation of substance of sexual abuse of a minor. The list of clergy includes 22 diocesan priests incardinated in the Diocese of Norwich, 7 priests who were members of religious orders, 2 priests who were from another diocese but working in the Diocese of Norwich, and 12 priests who served or resided in the Diocese of Norwich but who had allegations brought forward elsewhere from outside the diocese, in total 43 priests, roughly 2.8 percent of all clergy affiliated with the Diocese of Norwich since 1953. Since 1953, the clergy who served in the Diocese of Norwich or were present in the diocese for a temporary ministry assignment include, 5 bishops, 1,422 priests (351 diocesan priests incardinated in the Diocese of Norwich, 914 religious order priests, 134 priests from another diocese working in the Diocese of Norwich, and 23 priests who had residence or a temporary ministry in the diocese), and 114 deacons.
The records of the financial expenditures made as a result of the abuse of minors by clergy was compiled from data available as of January 31, 2019 and contains known data beginning July 1, 1977. To date, the Diocese of Norwich settled nine cases totaling $7,681,646.00:
$4,894,146.00 – insurance reimbursement;
$1,000,000.00 – diocesan general fund;
$1,787,500.00 – payments made by others (i.e. religious orders, individuals accused, other dioceses, etc.).
All claims were paid through insurance reimbursement, the diocesan general fund, and payments by others. No donor restricted funds, bequests, or contributions designated for a special purpose, such as the Annual Catholic Appeal, were used for the payment of settlements.
The Diocese of Norwich reports all allegations of abuse of minors it receives to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (1-800-842-2288) and the New York Child Protective Services (1-800-635-1522) and law enforcement, as required by law, and encourages all victims of sexual abuse to come forward and contact law enforcement and civil authorities and the diocesan reporting line (1-800-624-7407).
I am grievously sorry for the horrific sins and crimes made against the most vulnerable among us who have suffered sexual abuse and misconduct. I offer again my deepest and heartfelt apology on behalf of the Church to the victims of child abuse and their families suffering painful life-long consequences. I know that the release of these names will cause pain for some victims, families of the accused, friends and parishioners. It is my hope and prayer that this effort to let the light shine on this dark chapter in the life of the Church will bring some measure of peace, healing, and acknowledgement to those who have been directly harmed and to all members of our faith community.
I renew and continue my pledge to do everything within my power to protect our children and young people from harm and to follow an absolute zero tolerance policy toward those who committed crimes against God's children.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Michael R. Cote
Bishop of Norwich
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