Republican [Springfield MA]
February 13, 2004
This statement was released by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield yesterday
"It is with great sadness that I write this statement. I can only imagine how difficult the news of the last 24 hours has been for everyone. Those of us who work for the diocese are experiencing feelings of confusion, anger, doubt, outrage, and disbelief, to name just a few. We know that the priests and the good people out in the parishes must be feeling these things, and more.
"We share their shock over the allegations. However, the allegations have not yet been investigated, because the victims are requesting anonymity and do not want to come to the diocese. Thus, we are caught between the need to protect the victims' desire for anonymity and the desire to investigate the allegations. Nonetheless, we remain concerned about the victims and will attempt to minister to them as best as we can.
"We have worked very hard over the past two years to restore people's trust in the Church, so it is especially difficult to realize that people are now being pushed back towards distrust and despair. We are praying for God's guidance to help us to do the right thing.
"Today we have taken the following actions with regard to the accusations raised. The questions submitted to us by The Republican newspaper, including the names of the individuals, have been reported to the District Attorney's Office for Hampden County. In addition, a report is being sent to Archbishop Sean O'Malley outlining all facts known to the diocese on this matter. That report will basically reflect the statement I released late yesterday that, until presented with the inquiry from The Republican, I had no knowledge of these matters nor were any formal complaints ever received by the diocese." Msgr. Richard Sniezyk
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