CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Bishop William Byrne and 22News anchor Rich Tettemer discussed Byrne’s first 8 months in Springfield.
Byrne officially became Bishop in December, right in the middle of the pandemic. Because of COVID regulations he had to spread his message of faith without the in-person communication that is so important
But now he’s visiting parishes and churches all over the Diocese. Bishop Byrne also has been working to try and to heal the pain from the clergy sex abuse scandal that preceded him. The Diocese, in collaboration with police and the Hampden DA’s office now has an open approach to investigate and uncover past claims and help the victims.
“Now the first thing we do is let it be known and that’s how wounds heal. They heal by getting cleaned out, not by getting covered up. And the failure in the past had been just that, people afraid of scandal and afraid of ‘if this got out people would know’, and now it’s like ‘no, people need to know!’ because we need to see who is out there that we can also help to heal and to avoid any sort of re-traumatization with the process.”Bishop William Byrne
What has been the reaction from prior victims? What has been their reaction to this new open approach?
“So ones I have met with have been grateful for this approach. You know there’s always naysayers and I understand people’s doubt but I am with my entire being, committed to transparency and communication and that will take some people awhile to overcome a lack of trust. But hopefully with God’s help we’ll be able to do that.”Bishop William Byrne
You can watch the full interview with Bishop William Byrne on the video player above.