SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bishop Mitchell Rozanski is scheduled to meet with a man who has accused Late Bishop Christopher Weldon of sex abuse.
This comes after the Chair of the Diocesan Review Board disputed a report, that the sex abuse survivor had come forward with allegations against Bishop Weldon at a meeting back in June of 2018.
Springfield Diocese spokesperson, Mark Dupont told the I-Team, the survivor came forward with sex abuse allegations against two now deceased priests — Reverend Edward Authier and Reverend Clarence Forand, but not against Bishop Weldon.
Dupont said according to John Hale, the chair of the Review Board, the man mentioned Bishop Weldon in his testimony, but never accused him of sexual abuse. “He has stated that while former Bishop Weldon’s name did come up in the victim’s testimony, he did not specifically claim to have been abused by him,” he said.
Olan Horne, an advocate for the survivor has denied that claim, and said another witness heard him report the allegations against Weldon at the June 2018 meeting, when he testified about the abuse by Authier and Forand.
The I-Team discovered, two other people have accused Weldon of sex abuse over the years. Dupont said, both allegations were dropped, after they were deemed not credible.
Dupont said that although Bishop Rozanski became concerned over the allegations after recent media reports, this has nothing to do with the meeting.
He said the Bishop agreed to meet with the survivor over a month ago, before the story ever made the news, and that the meeting would have happened regardless.
He also said this type of meeting is not unusual, and that Bishop Rozanski has agreed to meet with victims and family members throughout his time as Bishop of Springfield.
Horne said the Diocese only agreed to the meeting, after the survivor was “stonewalled” over the past year, despite repeated requests.
The Bishop is set to meet with the survivor on Thursday.