Springfield Diocese: Retired judge to investigate allegations against former bishop

Hampden County

Retired Superior Court Judge Peter Velis (Photo courtesy RC Diocese of Springfield)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield announced Monday that retired Superior Court Judge Peter A. Velis will be investigating the allegations of misconduct made against former Bishop Christopher J. Weldon.

A man told current Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski last month that he had been sexually abused by Weldon in the early 1960s. Weldon died in 1982.

Springfield Diocese spokesman Mark Dupont told 22News the decision to engage the services of Judge Velis came after it was determined that the Vatican procedures for handling allegations of misconduct against bishops would likely not apply to deceased bishops.

“We are fortunate to have a jurist of his exemplary reputation to assist in this troubling matter.” Bishop Rozanski said. “We have, in Judge Velis, a truly objective person who will investigate the Bishop Weldon matter thoroughly, review how this situation has been handled by the diocese, and help identify opportunities for improvement in how the diocese handles these matters.”

Judge Velis is expected to begin his investigation almost immediately.  No deadline has been set. 

Related:

Springfield Diocese meets with man accusing late bishop of sexual abuse

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