Diocese Calls Claim False, Stands by Priest

By Bernard T. Davidow
Hartford Courant
March 13, 2001

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport says it does not believe a claim of sexual misconduct against the Rev. Joseph J. Malloy and will keep him on as pastor of St. Ann Parish in the city.

In settling claims of sexual abuse against six priests, including Malloy, the diocese Thursday acknowledged incidents of sexual abuse had occurred. Terms of the settlement, which included 26 people who had filed claims, were not disclosed.

But in a letter Saturday, a diocesan official said the diocese did not admit that every one of the claims had merit and, in fact, believed an allegation against Malloy was false.

"The settlement was global and made without regard to the merit of individual claims," the Rev. Msgr. Laurence R. Bronkiewicz said in the letter, sent to the diocese's 87 parishes and read at all St. Ann's Masses during the weekend. Bronkiewicz is administrator and chancellor of the diocese.

The letter continued: "The settlement was not an admission of guilt for each individual claim that has been asserted over the past nine years.

"Specifically in the matter of the single claim of misconduct asserted against Father Malloy, I want to assure you that the claim was fully investigated pursuant to our diocesan policy. Father Malloy has also undergone a complete evaluation. Father Malloy denies the allegations, and based upon the results of the investigation and evaluation, the Diocese of Bridgeport believes Father Malloy."

The diocese last week declined to discuss the status of the priests, saying that the parties in the settlement agreed not to talk about the individuals involved.


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