Springfield Diocese names investigators for abuse allegations

Daily Hampshire Gazette

February 27, 2020

By Michael Connors

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has appointed three people to its newly created team of investigators in its Office of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance.

Retired Springfield Police Capt. C. Lee Bennett, retired Springfield Police Lt. Norman F. Charest and Brenda Burge, an investigator for the state Department of Children and Families, have been named as the new investigators, according to a press release. They will serve as administrative investigators in abuse claims made to the Diocesan Review Board, the release said.

Jeffrey J. Trant, the office’s director, said in the statement released Monday that the hirings were part of a number of changesin how allegations of abuse are handled by the diocese. In 2019, the Berkshire Eagle reported that the Springfield Diocese tried to repress molestation accusations against Bishop Christopher J. Weldon by a former altar boy, who served in the 1960s. Last June, the diocese announced the reorganization of its Office of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance, saying the office will build on abuse awareness training, among other measures, to fulfill its mission.

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