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  Victims of Abuse Are Asked to Report Possible Cover-Ups

By Kathleen Shaw
Telegram & Gazette
December 18, 2002

Worcester — Paul Baier of Survivors First, an advocacy organization for victims of clergy sexual abuse, called yesterday for people to report bishops who have covered up sexual abuse in their dioceses.

His call to "step forward" was made at a press conference in Boston, where he released the names of all priests in New England known to have been accused of sexual misconduct.

The names of several Worcester diocesan priests are on the list and can be accessed at the organization's Web site at www.survivorsfirst.org.

The organization now includes the names on its national database of accused priests. Mr. Baier, a founder of Voice of the Faithful in Wellesley last January, recently started Survivors First.

"We ask that any priest, nun, choir director, summer camp instructor or anyone else with information about the cover-up by bishops of sexual abuse, please step forward and call your local attorney general's office. It is time this information is shared with law enforcement to help keep children safe," he said.

Survivors First and other victims' rights groups have said they do not intend to stop their calls for greater accountability in the Catholic church, now that Cardinal Bernard F. Law has resigned and is leaving Boston. Mr. Baier said there is still much work to be done.

Mr. Baier said every effort was made to be accurate in compiling the lists, but mistakes can be reported to by e-mail to PaulBaierSF+Aaol.com.

The list includes the following names:

The names of the late Brion Ares, who was accused of molesting a boy in Athol, and Monsignor Leo J. Battista, who lost his social worker's license after a suit was filed alleging he had sexual relations with a former nun he was seeing as a therapy client, appeared under the listing for Boston archdiocesan priests, although they were Worcester-area priests.

Also on the list is the Rev. Paul M. Desilets, a priest accused of molesting boys in Bellingham, who later went to Canada. District Attorney John J. Conte is attempting to extradite him back to this country.

The list includes the Rev. John J. Bagley, removed from St. Mary's parish earlier this year by Bishop Daniel P. Reilly; the Rev. Lee F. Bartlett, also removed by the bishop; the Rev. David L. Blizard, who allegedly molested several young men before leaving the diocese in 1988; the Rev. David Holley, convicted of molestation in New Mexico and now serving a 275-year jail term; and the Rev. Thomas A. Kane, former director of the House of Affirmation.

Also included are the Rev. Thaddeus Kardas, accused of molesting two girls in Worcester; the Rev. Robert E. Kelley, who pleaded guilty to child rape and is before the courts on another charge of child rape; the Rev. Raymond L. Messier, who has filed for bankruptcy after two civil suits were filed alleging sexual molestation of three men; the Rev. Edward Nicewicz, convicted in 1986 of raping two girls; and the Rev. Brendan O'Donoghue, who settled a suit in 1999 for $300,000; the Rev. Ronald D. Provost, who pleaded guilty in 1993 to taking semi-nude photographs of a boy; the Rev. Robert A. Shauris, who was named in a civil suit settlement; the Rev. Thomas A. Teczar, who was removed by the bishop in 1985 and later subject of a civil suit alleging sexual misconduct and most recently was arrested in Webster as a fugitive from justice from Texas; and, the Rev. Gerard P. Walsh, who made an admission of inappropriate conduct with a young man.

 
 

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