Report: Abuse allegations against deceased Catholic bishop ‘credible’

Report: Abuse allegations against deceased Catholic bishop ‘credible’

Retired Superior Court Judge Peter Velis speaks at a June 24 press conference about allegations against late Diocese of Springfield Bishop Christopher Weldon. (Credit: Screen capture/Diocese of Springfield.)

An independent investigation found that allegations of child sexual abuse by a former Catholic bishop in Massachusetts were “unequivocally credible,” according to an executive summary of the report released Wednesday.

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts — An independent investigation found that allegations of child sexual abuse by a former Catholic bishop in Massachusetts were “unequivocally credible,” according to an executive summary of the report released Wednesday.

Retired Superior Court Judge Peter Velis’s report of abuse allegations against late Diocese of Springfield Bishop Christopher Weldon also criticized the way the diocesan review board handled the allegations.

Velis found that there was a “reluctance to fervently pursue an evaluation of allegations against (Weldon) due to his prominence and revered legacy in the religious community.”

He also found that mandatory reporters had not notified law enforcement.

Weldon served as bishop from 1950 until 1977. He died in 1982.

The investigation was launched after a man came forward last year to tell current Bishop Mitchell Rozanski he had been sexually abused by Weldon in the early 1960s.

The report also makes several recommendations, including the appointoment of an adminsitrative supervisor of investigations for the diocese.

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