Man Claims Diocese Covered up Clergy Abuse
Suit Claims Church Destroyed Documents

10 News
August 3, 2004

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Mass., has been hit with another lawsuit -- this one claiming that church leaders destroyed personnel files and tried to cover up clergy sex abuse.

The John Doe suit was filed in Hampden Superior Court by a man who claims he was molested by two priests as a teenager in the 1970s.

The man claims in the suit that he overheard retired Springfield Bishop Thomas Dupre, then a priest, talk about the destruction of priest files during a rectory meeting in 1977 or 1978.

The man said he was serving refreshments to the priests when he overheard the conversation.

The suit mentions that the Rev. Sylvio Levesque -- pastor of St. Anne in Palmer, Mass. -- attended the meeting. Levesque told the Republican newspaper of Springfield that he can't recall any discussion about destroyed files.


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