Abuse Credible Bishop Weldon
Title: Springfield Diocese will institute series of reforms after sexual abuse claims against the late Bishop Christopher Weldon deemed credible
Author: Jeanette DeForge
Publisher: MassLive News
SPRINGFIELD – Bishop Christopher Weldon’s name will be removed from Mercy Medical Center’s rehabilitation center, all honorable references, memorials and photographs of him will be removed from Catholic properties and his remains buried at the entrance of the Gate of Heaven Cemetery will be exhumed and moved to a less prominent location in the cemetery and his grave marked with an ordinary size stone.
But the biggest change announced by the Roman Catholic Diocese in Springfield on Wednesday will be to create a new system to handle complaints of clergy abuse that calls for welcoming survivors’ accusations and examining them thoroughly and with compassion, said The Most Rev. Mitchell Rozanski, bishop of the diocese.
The changes were unveiled after retired judge Peter Velis announced a year-long study determined that the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon had sexually abused a boy. The victim came forward in 2014 as an adult to report the abuse by Weldon and two other clergy members.
“These allegations were unequivocally credible,” he said.
Weldon, who died in 1982, served as Springfield’s Bishop for 27 years. In the past, there were at least two prior instances where Weldon’s name was part of a lawsuit or a complaint, but neither was deemed credible.
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