Group Calls on Hospital to Find Victims of Abuse

March 28, 2012

[with video]

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Members from SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is asking Hartford Hospital to reach out to potential victims of Father Ivan Ferguson, who is accused of child abuse.

Feruguson, who worked at Northwest Catholic, was transferred to Hartford Hospital in the 1980s by the Archdiocese, where many said the abuse continued.

In Waterbury, Father Raymond Paul is accused of abusing children during his two year tenure as Chaplain at Saint Mary's Hospital during the 1970s. Before that, he was accused of abuse while presiding over Saint Thomas Church.

"We believe that it's just really tragic how Catholic officials take accused priests out of a parish or school and put them in a hospital where kids are even more vulnerable," said David Clohessy, the director of SNAP.

The hospitals may not have known about the priests' past when the abuse allegedly happened because procedures weren't in place to find out.

Hartford Hospital released a statement saying, "Prior to 1995, Hartford Hospital did not employ any religious clergy. Visiting chaplains were appointed by area religious organizations."

Now, all chaplains - employees and volunteers - must go through the same rigorous hiring process that every employee must undergo, including background checks.

Saint Mary's Hospital didn't return calls.

Both priests have since died, but the allegations didn't.

A jury has already awarded a victim $1 million. Another trial is about to start in May.


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