Group calling for resignation of Springfield archbishop-designate over mishandled sexual abuse claims

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A sex abuse support group is calling for the resignation of Arch Bishop-Designate Mitchell Rozanski amid allegations that he mishandled a sexual abuse case.

Road to Recovery claims that Arch Bishop-Designate Rozanski mishandled a clergy-related sex abuse case but the diocese says that is simply not true.

The leader of the group, Robert Hoatson, held a news conference outside of the diocese headquarters Friday. He alleges that Rozanski mismanaged the six-year case where John Doe reported in 2014 three clergy sexual abusers including Bishop Christopher Weldon.

Child sexual abuse claim made against former Springfield Catholic Bishop Christopher Weldon deemed credible

An investigation by retired judge Peter Velis found that John Doe’s allegations were credible. The organization says Rozanski and the Diocesan review board could’ve done more and wants Rozanski’s resignation.

Robert Hoatson, Founder and president of Road to Recovery told 22News, “These allegations from John Doe, at least according to the judge, they were not reported to proper authorities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

“All of these documents of understanding between the district attorney and attorney’s generals they’re not being followed either,” he continued.

Hoatson says the report found a reluctance to pursue the allegations against Weldon due to his religious prominence and legacy. In a statement to 22News, the Springfield diocese said Judge Velis’s report found that then-Bishop Rozanski was not provided any information regarding the complaint about Bishop Weldon until 2019.

The Diocese says that after learning of the information and meeting with the victim, Rozanski directed a new investigation to be opened into the case.

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