Former Altar Boy Sues Dead Pastor, Hartford Diocese

By Kristen A. Turick
Middletown Press [Bristol CT]
October 7, 2003

BRISTOL -- A former altar boy at the Church of St. Matthew Church in Forestville has filed a lawsuit against its deceased pastor and the Archdiocese of Hartford, alleging that the priest molested him over a period of two years during the 1960s.

Attorney Thomas McNamara filed four lawsuits in New Haven Superior Court last week naming the archdiocese, St. Matthew and St. Clare Catholic Church in East Haven as plaintiffs for allowing the late Rev. Thomas F. Glynn to work in the two parishes and allegedly molest the four males.

Glynn is accused of sexually assaulting, battering and exploiting altar boy Roger Madore in the rectory, his car and in the sacristy of the church while he was at St. Matthew Church.

"This guy had boys upstairs in his bedroom at both the Forestville church in the mid-í60s and St. Clare in East Haven in the í70s while the abuse was going on," McNamara said. "Anybody should know you donít have young boys upstairs in a priestís bedroom."

According to McNamara, the allegations against the priest are similar in each of the lawsuits. He said Glynn routinely told the victims they were special and taught them to mix alcoholic drinks for him. He said Glynn also took his victims, some of whom were as young as 11 years old, to a beach house or the movies.

McNamara said the abuse included kissing, oral sex, masturbation and, in one case, attempted sodomy.

The lawsuits claim that the Archdiocese of Hartford was negligent in allowing Glynn to work in the churches and have access to the boys. McNamara said there is no evidence church officials knew about Glynn engaging in illegal activity before his working at St. Matthew, but said Madore told another priest about the abuse in 1971 while preparing to get married. McNamara said the archdiocese could have prevented the abuse that later occurred at St. Clare if it had responded to Madoreís complaint.

The Rev. John Gatzak, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Hartford, said he had no information regarding the lawsuits, but said the archdiocese "is committed to cooperating with any investiga-tion."

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of these alleged [incidents] of sexual abuse, as well as all victims of sexual abuse," Gatzak said.

McNamara said Glynnís victims are still struggling with numerous issues that arose out of the abuse. He described them as having "shame, guilt, low self-esteem, anger, some have substance abuse problems, trust problems, relationship problems, nightmares, depression, sexual confusion and spiritual damage."

According to McNamara, Madore once spoke up after Glynn forced him to French-kiss the priest. Madore was between 16 and 18 years old when the alleged abuse took place.

"I donít think God would approve of what you just did," McNamara said Madore told Glynn. "And Glynnís response was, ĎI am God. I gave your mother a job, so you owe me.í"

McNamara, who expects to file at least one more lawsuit naming Glynn, said his clients are seeking monetary damages. He said he has had preliminary discussions with the archdiocese.

Madore is the second man to file a lawsuit claiming Glynn molested him while working at the Church of St. Matthew. Kevin Zile, who attended both the church and its school, filed a suit claim-ing Glynn abused him even after he was transferred to a Wallingford church in the late 1960s, where Zile would visit him.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.

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