A lawsuit introduced via a former altar boy who stated he was once raped as a kid within the Nineteen Sixties via a now-deceased Roman Catholic bishop in Massachusetts has been settled, the edges introduced Friday.
The plaintiff known in court docket papers as John Doe alleged within the swimsuit filed in February 2021 that no longer most effective was once he abused via former Diocese of Springfield Bishop Christopher Weldon in addition to two different clergy, but in addition that the church engaged in a yearslong coverup to give protection to the bishop’s popularity and legacy.
The swimsuit additionally stated that even after abuse allegations towards Weldon have been discovered to be credible, diocesan officers as overdue as 2019 denied them.
The diocese’s present bishop in a commentary pronouncing the agreement apologized.
“Mr. Doe’s allegations were determined to be credible, therefore, any public statement made on behalf of the Diocese in May or June of 2019 that is inconsistent with that is withdrawn,” Bishop William Byrne stated. “We apologize to Mr. Doe for any harm those statements caused. We regret that interaction with the Diocese and civil litigation, often the last stop in trying to resolve these cases, can leave survivors feeling revictimized.”
Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.
The alleged abuse passed off when the plaintiff was once an altar boy at St. Anne Parish in Chicopee, Massachusetts when he was once from 9 to 11 years previous. Weldon served as bishop from 1950 till 1977 and died in 1982.
Before the lawsuit was once even filed, a retired Superior Court pass judgement on employed via the diocese discovered that says of abuse referring to Weldon have been “unequivocally credible,” and that there was once a “reluctance to fervently pursue an evaluation of allegations against (Weldon) due to his prominence and revered legacy in the religious community.”
“The fact that Mr. Doe was forced to pursue litigation in the face of the report prepared by retired Judge Peter A. Velis, confirms the Church’s continuing failure, despite protests to the contrary, to accept responsibility for the atrocities committed,” Nancy Frankel Pelletier, a attorney for the plaintiffs, stated in a commentary.
Bishop Byrne counseled the plaintiff for coming ahead and stated the church has realized the right way to higher reply to abuse allegations. Concealing or dissuading any person from reporting abuse is probably not tolerated, he stated.
“It is Mr. Doe’s hope that Bishop Byrne’s statement will be heeded, and that no other survivor will be revictimized for speaking their truth,” Pelletier stated.
The diocese fought to have the swimsuit pushed aside in response to charitable immunity and the doctrine of church autonomy, derived from the First Amendment, even taking their case to the state’s perfect court docket. The Supreme Judicial Court, alternatively, ultimate July dominated within the plaintiff’s choose.
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