Springfield Catholic Diocese holds prayer service for clergy sex abuse survivors

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Catholic Diocese held a prayer service Thursday night to honor victims and survivors of clergy sex abuse.

The vigil at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield comes a day after the Diocese added 40 names to its list of clergy and staff accused of sexual abuse.

The non-profit, “Road to Recovery,” helps sex abuse victims. Its president told 22News the Diocese needs to do more.

“What I think is happening is what the church usually does, it distracts from the real issue,” said Dr. Robert Hoatson, co-founder and president of the non-profit. “We want the Bishop to be completely open, completely honest, completely transparent. Release all the files and let the people of Springfield and the good Catholic faithful or Springfield know what’s going on.”

The Springfield Diocese also released a new statement Thursday night in response:

“We gather in prayer tonight to support victim-survivors in their difficult path to healing and in recognition that yesterday’s expanded disclosure of names likely created additional pain in their existing wounds of trauma. We recognize the frustration of some people who feel that the Diocese was late in making the disclosures and their fears that the disclosures are incomplete.

As stated yesterday, despite the care taken to provide an accurate and complete list with careful
independent review, the list may be imperfect. If any survivor believes that an individual is missing from the list, we urge them to contact us and participate in the review process. We will then update the list to reflect new determinations of credibility. The list is designed to be a living document.

The diocese will continue to cooperate with any and all law enforcement requests for information.”

Diocese of Springfield

Survivors who believe an individual is missing from the list are being encouraged to contact the Diocese.

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