WGGB - WesternMassNews [Springfield MA]
May 26, 2021
By Ryan Trowbridge and Leon Purvis
New information is coming out of the Diocese of Springfield following the revelations this week of evidence connecting late former priest Richard Lavigne to the murder of young altar boy Daniel Croteau back in 1972.
While speaking with Bishop William Byrne today, we asked him about the calls for him to release all the case documents on Richard Lavigne, what his plan of action is, and if the D.A. should investigate the diocese.
“I’m sickened and I’m angered. I’m apologetic for the role that the church had played in not doing all that we could at times,” Byrne noted.
Byrne shared his thoughts with Western Mass News after the Hampden District Attorney’s announcement on Monday that he had enough to charge defrocked priest Richard Lavigne – had he not died this past Friday – in the murder of 13-year-old Danny Croteau.
Calls followed on Tuesday for the diocese to release all documents regarding Lavigne and other potential abuse allegations inside the church. Byrne told us that he’s been in full cooperation with the D.A.’s office.
“We’ve already released everything that the district attorney’s office has asked of us. We have not held anything back,” Byrne added.Unlimited Cashback Match – Only from DiscoverGet ready for cash back to fall into your lap. Discover matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. See terms.Ad By Discover Card See More
However, to be more transparent with the public moving forward, Byrne does have a plan of action.
“We’ve been working in the past six months to produce a complete list of all those who have been credibly accused and that list will be released next week,” Byrne noted.
Byrne broke down what the list will include.
“This is in addition to those who are already on our website. This includes posthumous allegations. It includes those who credibility accused members of religious communities and lay employees,” Byrne explained.
However, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery Robert Hoatson told Western Mass News that releasing a list is not enough and he believes that there are documents that the diocese has not handed over to the D.A.’s office.
“That list is not going to be accurate. The bishop is going to release whatever the bishop wants to release. You see, the church always wants to have control of these processes,” Hoatson noted.
Byrne said he will release the list of those accused a week from Friday. We, of course, will bring you that new information as we get it.