Text of Rev. Scahill's Letter

Republican [Springfield MA]
May 26, 2004

The following is the text of a letter written yesterday by the Rev. James J. Scahill, pastor of St. Michael's parish in East Longmeadow, to Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell.

Dear Bishop McDonnell, I am dismayed by a remark attributed to you as is quoted in today's paper from Tom Martin. I know Tom Martin and his family and find him to be a reliable and truthful person.

"You would settle in a minute if you had land to sell." There are acres of unused land owned by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield - right here behind St. Michael's Church, East Longmeadow. There is no way we can staff and maintain St. Joseph's Mission on Vineland Avenue, East Longmeadow - this is prime sellable land owned by the R.C. Bishop of Springfield. What about the rectory of St. Paul's Parish in Springfield, the former school and its property of St. Joseph Parish, Springfield, and its lucrative location across from the Basketball Hall of Fame and property owned by the diocese on Tinkham Road in Wilbraham??

The victims I believe are seeking $14.5 million and they should not be compromised, ongoingly maligned, manipulated and abused by an institution that placed them in harms way and covered up its protection of pedophiles and abusers of minors.

At the current $7 million offer the victims will receive far less than the church has given over 12 years to Richard Lavigne (approx $300,000). Other violators will in their lifetime receive more from this Church than the victims they so atrociously violated in heart, spirit, and body.

By the way you and I know that you never really apologized to me over your comparison of me to Lavigne and you surely have not come close to doing that publicly.

I am watching closely now how you are treating the victims and their families and what will be done about Richard Lavigne come May 31.

Sincerely, Rev. James J. Scahill