Clerical sex abuse survivor calls on Bishop Rozanski to resign over report

Daily Hampshire Gazette

June 27, 2020

By Scott Merzbach

A clergy sex abuse survivor who leads a New Jersey organization that supports survivors and their families is calling on Mitchell T. Rozanski to resign as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield after a report this week described the response to abuse allegations against a late bishop as “woefully deficient.”

Robert M. Hoatson, who co-founded Road to Recovery Inc. in Livingston, New Jersey, held a press conference Friday morning in Springfield that also asked Pope Francis to rescind the appointment of Rozanski as archbishop for St. Louis.

Hoatson argues that Rozanski spent six years mismanaging the case reported by an anonymous Chicopee man who alleged being abused by the late Bishop Christopher Weldon. The allegations were first reported to the Diocese of Springfield in 2014 but were only confirmed in a report completed by retired Judge Peter A. Velis this week.

The Velis report determined that the allegation against Weldon was “unequivocally credible,” yet the diocesan investigation, led by an appointed Diocesan Review Board, failed to investigate fairly and accurately claims of clergy sexual abuse.

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