For Immediate Release:
Contacts: Fr. James Shanley, Maria Zone, David Elliott
Secretariat for Communications and Public Relations
134 Farmington Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105
Archdiocese of Hartford Releases Information Regarding Clerical Sexual Abuse of Minors
HARTFORD, Conn. (Jan. 22, 2019) – On Tuesday, January 22, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair together with the Office of Safe Environment of the Archdiocese of Hartford (AOH) published information regarding clerical sexual abuse of minors in the archdiocese.
This information, which can be found at Promise.ArchdioceseofHartford.org, includes:
- A list of names of archdiocesan clergy who have been the objects of legal settlements or otherwise credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor from 1953 to the present, as well as the names of religious order priests and priests from other dioceses who have been credibly accused of an offense that took place in the Archdiocese. Since 1953, 36 archdiocesan clergy have been credibly accused (of whom 23 are now deceased). In addition, there have been six religious order priests and six priests from other dioceses who offended within the Archdiocese. There are currently no priests in ministry who have been credibly accused, in keeping with the Archdiocese of Hartford’s “zero-tolerance” policy.
- An announcement that Judge Antonio Robaina has been retained by the Archdiocese to conduct an independent investigation. Judge Antonio Robaina is a retired Connecticut Superior Court judge, now with the law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP. Judge Robaina and his legal team will conduct an independent investigation to provide a comprehensive and transparent accounting of sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the Archdiocese of Hartford. The findings of this investigation will be reported to the Archbishop for the benefit of the faithful. The investigation will cover the years spanning 1953 (when the AOH as such was established to include Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven counties) to the present. Should any additional names of offenders arise as a result of the investigation, they will be added to: ArchdioceseofHartford.org.
- The financial cost of sexual abuse settlements. As of this date, there have been 142 settled claims involving 29 archdiocesan clergy and three priests from other dioceses. These settlements total $50.6 million: of this amount, $26.1 million was paid from insurance recoveries and $24.5 million from the General Reserve Fund of the Archdiocese. It should be noted that 98% of settlements paid were for allegations of abuse of a minor that occurred before 1990.
A videotaped message from Archbishop Blair regarding these matters has been posted on Promise.ArchdioceseofHartford.org. In addition to the video, the Archbishop’s text is also posted on the same site in English, Spanish, and Polish.
The Archbishop has stated that one case of child abuse is one case too many: “I ask—the Church must ask—for forgiveness from those who have been victims of child sexual abuse by clergy, and from their parents, siblings, and friends. Healing and reconciliation continue to be an essential but not easy goal, given the terrible effects that these sins and crimes can cause in the lives of victims, to whom the Church owes the deepest expression of sorrow and apology.”
The AOH has been in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People since it was adopted by the U.S. Bishops in 2002. All policies and codes pertaining to the protection of minors and vulnerable adults can be found in the Archdiocese’s Office of Safe Environment Handbook.
Any incidence of sexual abuse should be reported to Kathleen Nowosadko, Victim Assistance Coordinator, at: 860-541-6475, as well as to the local authorities.
In an effort to apply spiritual remedies to the scandal and tragedy that has seriously wounded so many people in the church, Archbishop Blair will offer Masses of Reparation for the evil that has been done. The first one will take place in Manchester on Sunday, January 27, at 2:00 pm at the St. Bartholomew Church building of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish.
Interview requests will not be granted at this time. Additional updates and statements will be posted on the website.