Clergy Abuse Survivor Claims Former Springfield Bishop, Others Engaged in Cover-up
By Larry Parnass
February 9, 2021
The former altar boy who accused a legendary bishop of rape — an account deemed “unequivocally credible” by a retired judge last summer — wants to be compensated for his suffering, citing inaction and connivance by church officials that, he says, exacerbated his pain.
In a lawsuit filed in Hampden Superior Court, the Chicopee man alleges that current and former officials within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, including former Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, engaged in a cover-up to protect the reputation of the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon.
The suit alleges that people who work or worked for the diocese, including its longtime attorney, John. J. Egan, played various roles in suppressing the unnamed man’s initial reports of abuse by Weldon and two other members of the clergy in the 1960s, starting when the child was 9.
The plaintiff is identified in the civil action only as John Doe. The suit, which appeared on the court’s docket Monday, seeks a jury trial and what it terms an award that will “adequately compensate him for his damages, plus interest, costs and attorney’s fees …”
The suit comes eight months after an explosive report revealed inaction and manipulation of the case by the Springfield Diocese, leading one of the newly named defendants, Rozanski, to say at the time that the diocese had “failed this courageous man.”