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  Diocese of Bridgeport Announces Settlement Agreement Has Been Reached in the Case Involving John Castaldo

Diocese of Bridgeport Press Release
January 18, 2005

BRIDGEPORT, Tuesday, January 18, 2005, 4:30 p.m. - The Diocese of Bridgeport has confirmed that a settlement agreement has been reached in the case involving John Castaldo.

At the request of the plaintiff, his name and the terms of the settlement will not be released. This is in full accordance with the provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Closure and Reconciliation

"This legal settlement is the right thing to do," says Bishop William E. Lori, Bishop of Bridgeport. "We agree that the resolution of this case is a part of the healing process, and hope that this young man will find closure and reconciliation."

"The Diocese of Bridgeport is in the forefront of the proper and comprehensive response to all allegations of abuse," Bishop Lori adds. "We have put in place policies and programs to ensure, to the best of our ability, that a Safe Environment exists in the Church for persons of all ages."

Background and Facts

John Castaldo was ordained to the priesthood in May 1987 by then-Bishop Walter Curtis. Then-Bishop Edward Egan arrived in the Diocese of Bridgeport in December 1988, and served until June 2000. Bishop Lori has served as Bishop of Bridgeport since March 2001.

Prior to the early 1990s, the time in question, the Diocese had no indication that Castaldo posed a threat to young people. In fact, the Diocese received no complaints of sexual misconduct by Castaldo until May 2001, when Castaldo was arrested, and Bishop Lori removed him immediately from ministry.

The Diocese was first made aware of the plantiff's allegations in the summer of 2001, several months after Castaldo's arrest and removal from ministry. Per the policy of the Diocese, Bishop Lori met the young man and his father and reached out in a pastoral manner. He offered counseling. Since then, the Diocese had also offered several times to resolve this matter. It is gratified that an agreement has now been reached and the healing can begin.

John Castaldo has not functioned as a priest since May 2001. He has no authorization to function as a priest.

Leadership Role

It is well-documented that the Diocese of Bridgeport has taken a leadership role in the response to abuse. Independent audits of the Diocese of Bridgeport have, on two occasions, praised the Diocese for exceeding its compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and for its Safe Environment Program.

To date, the Diocese has trained 20,000 employees and volunteers to increase awareness and ensure that everyone in our society, including children, is protected from abuse. The Diocese responds swiftly to every allegation, meets with victims, complies with all laws, and attempts to reach healing and closure.

For more information on how the Diocese of Bridgeport is maintaining a Safe Environment for people of all ages, click here.

 
 

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