Bishop Christopher Weldon’s legacy under cloud

The Republican

June 23, 2019

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

He died at the hospital whose new facility he helped build and was buried in the cemetery created during his years as the fourth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

The 27-year legacy of Bishop Christopher J. Weldon is a visible one and continues to impact many in Western Massachusetts.

It includes the construction of what is known today as Mercy Medical Center, as well as such parishes as St. Catherine of Siena and the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, where he is buried. Also, Weldon initiated the Springfield diocese’s yearly fundraising drive, now in its 60th year and called the Annual Catholic Appeal.

What Weldon accomplished through the creation of buildings and programs before his death on March 19, 1982, at the age of 76 was highlighted in his front-page obituary in The Morning Union under the banner headline, “He wanted to do more.”

A possible darker side to his legacy emerged with greater visibility Thursday after Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski met with an alleged victim of clergy sexual abuse, heard his accusations against Weldon and two priests decades ago, and filed an initial report with Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni.

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