Springfield -- Three of the priests named in a $7 million settlement between the Springfield Diocese and alleged victims of clergy sex abuse were not publicly identified by church officials prior to the settlement. Two of the priests served parishes in Berkshire County.
The Re Boudreau, Eugene Dranka and Thomas F. O'Malley were listed among 18 priests who were accused of sexual abuse, The Republican newspaper reported yesterday. Dranka and O'Malley are dead, and Boudreau has denied any wrongdoing.
[Boudreau served as curate of St. Teresa's Church in Pittsfield in the 1950s; O'Malley was assistant pastor at St. Francis' Church in North Adams. The dates of his tenure there could not be determined yesterday. O'Malley was ordained in 1930, according to Eagle files.]
Mark Dupont, a spokesman for the diocese, refused yesterday to comment on why the diocese hadn't previously named the three priests.
But John Stobierski, the Greenfield attorney representing 45 people who agreed to settle their sex abuse claims against the diocese, said identifying the accused priests is consistent with a policy established in Dallas two years ago by a conference of U.S. bishops.
"The Dallas norms set forth the fact that these settlements will not be done in secret any longer. To that end, my clients want the names of priests who allegedly abused them made public," Stobierski said.
Stobierski said naming the priests gives his clients closure.
Dranka, who served in parishes in Westfield and Palmer as well as Texas and New Hampshire, had two accusations of abuse made against him. He died at age 66 in 1974. O'Malley, who was 84 when he died in 1985, faced one accusation of abuse. He served in parishes in Palmer, Shelburne Falls, Holyoke, Springfield and Worcester.
Boudreau, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., left the priesthood several decades ago, after serving in Easthampton, Springfield and Westfield, The Republican reported. He denied an allegation of abuse when contacted by the newspaper several months ago.