Report on the Independent Investigation of Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Bishop Christopher J. Weldon

Diocese of Springfield

Released June 24, 2020

By Peter A. Velis

[Note from This report was released in a 100 megabyte PDF that was not searchable. We made the PDF searchable and reduced its size by half without changing the content in any way. The link above is to the searchable and smaller PDF. This smaller PDF is still 52 megabytes and will be difficult for some readers to download. So we have also posted the reduced-size searchable report in pieces: the text, the exhibits, and the photo exhibits with appendix. The 100 megabyte report with OCR is available here.]

Excerpt from the Executive Summary

The processing of the complaint was replete with differing evaluations of the allegations and included conflicting analyses, opinions and conclusions. This reflected a clear lack of industry and concern for the quality of the entire process in terms of the scope of the investigation.

It was clear in my examination that the process included an inexplicable modification and manipulation of the reports received by and acted on by the Diocesan Review Board. Additionally the complaint process was compromised in that mandatory reporters failed in their duties to report the allegations to prosecutorial authorities.

Significantly, in evaluating the actions of those involved in the Weldon assessment, I found that there was a reluctance to fervently pursue an evaluation of allegations against him due to his prominence and revered legacy in the religious community.

Therefore, in response to my charge in assessing how the Diocese responded to the complainant, I conclude from the myriad of evidentiary factors expressed in my final report that from the inception of the complaint through the follow-up process, the procedure was greatly flawed.

I conducted an intensive and in-depth investigation. Concomitant with it was a haunting consciousness of Bishop Weldon’s inability to refute the complainant’s allegations. Consequently, I conducted the process in the light most favorable to him. However, notwithstanding, I still reached an informed and indisputable conclusion. I found the allegations of the complainant concerning the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon to be unequivocally credible.

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