SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski on Tuesday announced a new diocesan office for clergy sexual abuse victims.
The Safe Environment and Victim Assistance Office will work with the District Attorney’s office and others that investigate claims of sexual abuse.
“I want to understand the history of sexual abuse in this diocese and I look forward to working with all our partners to make sure we have a robust system,” said Jeffrey Trant, director of the Office of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance for the Springfield Catholic Diocese.
Trant told 22News they will conduct CORI checks and hold abuse awareness trainings for clergy members, religious employees, and church volunteers. They’ll ensure victims have access to services to support their recovery.
Bishop Rozanski said the new office will be devoted to working with people who report clergy sexual abuse. But their focus is on prevention and making sure people can recognize the signs of clergy abuse.
“Our office helps us to really be in sync with our civil authorities and the law, and with also prevention which is what our main goal is,” said Bishop Rozanski.
Bishop Rozanski said he’s meeting with a man Thursday who claims he told the Diocesan Review Board last year that he was sexually abused by late Bishop Christopher Weldon. The Review Board disputes the allegations.
Bishop Rozanski said Tuesday’s announcement was not influenced by the allegations against late Bishop Weldon.
The location and time of their meeting is confidential.