Priest Accused of Misconduct

By Bill Zajac
[Springfield MA] Republican
June 2, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - A visiting priest from Nigeria, who has worked as a chaplain at Baystate Medical Center, has been suspended from ministry in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield and suspended from Baystate Medical Center after a complaint of sexual misconduct against him to the diocese.

The Rev. Andrew Dodo, 48, was placed on administrative leave pending a further investigation of the complaint, the diocese announced yesterday.

The complaint that was made by an adult is unrelated to his work at Baystate Medical Center, according to the diocese and the medical facility.

Dodo came to Springfield upon being hired by Baystate Medical Center in July 2002. His employment was contingent upon being granted clerical privileges by the Springfield Diocese, which were subsequently granted after being hired.

Dodo has been living at Our Lady of Hope rectory and serving as a supply priest in the diocese, celebrating Masses wherever he is needed on weekends.

He previously worked at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City and St. Luke's Parish in Washington D.C.

Dodo's accuser came forward last month and met with the diocesan review board, which ruled the complaint warranted further investigation.

Laura F. Reilly, the diocese's victim outreach worker, said the accuser came forward last month to report the accusation.

Reilly said it is the diocese's policy not to identify the sex of the accuser.

Reilly said it involved more than one incident and that they occurred in 2003.

This is the fifth announcement about diocesan personnel accused of sexual abuse since the Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell was installed as bishop on April 1.

Previously the diocese didn't issue any public announcements regarding accusations and often kept accused people in nonparish jobs.

Other actions involved:

Deacon James A. Martone of Agawam was placed on leave May 11 after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor beginning in 1991.

The Rev. Ronald E. Wamsher, a former parish priest who has most recently worked on the panel deciding marriage annulments, was placed on leave April 15 pending an investigation of accusations he abused several minors more than 10 years ago.

Michael A. Graziano, president of the Catholic Communications Corp., resigned in April after being placed on an administrative leave after an accusation of sexual misconduct dating back to 1985.

John R. Russell, a former Catholic priest in the Springfield Diocese, was accused of abusing a minor more than 30 years ago, the diocese announced last month.

The diocese referred the matter to Hampden District Attorney William M. Bennett.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.