Information Regarding Clerical Sexual Abuse of Minors

Information Regarding Clerical Sexual Abuse of Minors2019-01-25T20:22:27+00:00

LIST OF ARCHDIOCESE OF HARTFORD CLERGY WHO HAVE BEEN THE OBJECTS OF LEGAL SETTLEMENTS OR OTHERWISE CREDIBLY ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR FROM 1953 TO THE PRESENT

AND

RELIGIOUS ORDER PRIESTS AND PRIESTS FROM OTHER DIOCESES WHO HAVE BEEN CREDIBLY ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF HARTFORD FROM 1953 TO THE PRESENT

The Archdiocese of Hartford, which was established as such in 1953, is committed to protecting the safety of minors and vulnerable adults, as well as to complying with the 2002 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms (2005, 2011, 2018) which are binding church law in the United States.

Since 2002, when the Charter and Essential Norms were implemented, there has been a zero-tolerance policy in effect whereby when even a single act of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest or deacon is admitted, or is established after an appropriate investigation/process, the offending clergyman is removed permanently from ecclesiastical ministry, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state. These definitive actions can only be taken by, or with the authorization of, the Holy See at the Vatican.

Also, since 2002, the Archdiocese of Hartford has promptly reported claims of clergy sexual abuse involving minors to the State Department of Children and Families regardless of whether they were current or from the distant past and regardless of whether they were credible or not.

In the interests of greater transparency, accountability, and restoring the trust of the Catholic people and the general public, and in the hope of continued healing for the victims/survivors of abuse, the Archdiocese of Hartford hereby publishes the names of those Archdiocese of Hartford clergy who have been the objects of legal settlements involving claims of, or otherwise credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor, and the names of religious order priests and priests from other dioceses who have been credibly accused of such an offense that took place in the Archdiocese of Hartford. Most of these names have previously been reported by the secular and/or religious media. The list of names will be updated as new information becomes available.

For purposes of this publication, a “credible claim” is defined as one that, under the circumstances known at the time of determination, would cause a prudent person to conclude that there was a significant possibility that the incident occurred. It is important to note that disclosure of the names of these clerics does not necessarily mean that the accusation has been proven in a court of law or definitively shown to have occurred through a formal process, or has been admitted by the person accused. It is also important to keep in mind that the priests who died before any allegation was made against them did not have an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

Many of the clergy on the following list were the object of civil lawsuits or legal claims of sexual abuse of a minor, which were permitted by the civil statute of limitations, which is much longer than the criminal statute of limitations in place at the time that most of the abuse incidents allegedly occurred. As a result, the criminal statute of limitations had expired before most of the incidents of abuse became known and therefore criminal prosecutions of the clergy in question were not possible. In more recent times, criminal statutes of limitations have been extended to allow for longer periods of time for prosecution of such crimes occurring after those extensions became effective.

LIST OF ARCHDIOCESE OF HARTFORD CLERGY  WHO HAVE BEEN THE OBJECTS OF LEGAL SETTLEMENTS OR OTHERWISE CREDIBLY ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR FROM 1953 TO THE PRESENT

(for additional details including date of ordination, date of death where applicable, list of assignments,
when removed from ministry, current status etc. click on the name below)

Priests/Transitional Deacon of the Archdiocese of Hartford (36)

Altermatt, Gregory
Buckley, Joseph
Bzdyra, Stephen
Clarkin, Herbert
Crowley, Stephen
Doyle, Robert
Ferguson, Ivan

Foley, Stephen

Glynn, Thomas
Gotta, Paul
Graham, John
Hussey, Philip

Hyland, Edward
Lacy, Joseph

Ladamus, Robert

Maguire, Felix

Manspeaker, Terry
McGann, Richard

McSheffery, Daniel

Mitchell, Peter

Muha, Edward
Nash, Howard

O’Connor, John T.
Paul, Raymond

Paturzo, Louis

Perrault, Arthur
Przybylo, William
Raffaeta, George

Reardon, Edward

Renkiewicz, Adolph

Rozint, Joseph

Shea, Robert E.

Shiner, Kenneth

Tissera,(Wamakulasuriya) Edward

Werpechowski, Felix

Zizka, Peter

RELIGIOUS ORDER PRIESTS AND PRIESTS FROM OTHER DIOCESES WHO HAVE BEEN CREDIBLY ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF HARTFORD FROM 1953 TO THE PRESENT

(for additional details including date of ordination, date of death where applicable, list of assignments,
when removed from ministry, current status etc. click on the name below)

Externs (Priests belonging to another Archdiocese/Diocese (6)

Kramek, Roman
Meunier, Lucien
Franklin, Edward
Primavera, Bruno
Ramsay, John B.
Rivera, Jose

Religious Order Priests (6)

Izquierdo, William LC
Miller, Michael OFM Conv.
Pelkington, Robert Leo OP
Pryor, John OAR
Rudy, John OFM
Szantyr, John

For additional information concerning those listed above, please contact the corresponding Diocese via the link provided when the name is clicked

Frequently Asked Questions January 2019

Sexual misconduct by Personnel of the Archdiocese of Hartford is contrary to Christian teaching and principles, is outside the scope of the duties and employment of all such personnel and is strictly prohibited. The Archdiocese of Hartford is and has been committed to the safety and well-being of Minors and Vulnerable Adults.

Italicized responses are quoted directly from the Office of Safe Environment Handbook Policies and Procedures for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults. (Some locations cited by number)

How does one report sexual abuse by an member of the clergy, employee or volunteer of the Archdiocese of Hartford, its parishes, schools and agencies?2019-01-20T18:33:17+00:00

HOW TO REPORT AN INCIDENT OF SEXUAL ABUSE TO THE ARCHDIOCESE OF HARTFORD

If you have knowledge or suspect that a minor or vulnerable adult (an adult with an intellectual disability) has been sexually abused, in any manner, by personnel of the Archdiocese of Hartford, you are urged to report this information to:

Kathleen D. Nowosadko
Victim Assistance Coordinator
860-541-6475
kathleen.nowosadko@aohct.org

In addition, you will be asked to follow up in writing with a detailed description of the facts involved in the incident. Specifics of this written report can be found in the Policies and Procedures of the Archdiocese of Hartford Relating to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Involving Minors and Vulnerable Adults. This document is also available online at www.archdioceseofhartford.org.  The Archdiocese of Hartford will report any and all incidents to the proper civil authorities.

Mandated reporters in the State of Connecticut are required by law to report any incident of sexual abuse involving a minor or vulnerable adult.  We encourage any Non-Mandated persons to report such incidents to the proper authorities as well. We support your right to do so.

Incidents involving sexual abuse of minors (persons under the age of 18) should be reported to:

State Department of Children and Families Care-line 1-800-842-2288

Incidents involving sexual abuse of vulnerable adults aged 18 – 59 should be reported to the:

Connecticut Department of Developmental Services – AID Division for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities 1-844-878-8923

Incidents involving sexual abuse of vulnerable adults aged 60 and over should be reported to:

Department of Social Services for the Elderly 1-888-385-4225

Once a written report of an incident of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult has been received, an investigation will be undertaken by, or on behalf of, the Archdiocese of Hartford.

How does one report sexual abuse of a minor by a Bishop/Archbishop?2019-01-20T18:35:49+00:00

You should contact the papal nuncio, who is the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States, Most Reverend Christophe Pierre, 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 202-333-7121

And Kathleen D. Nowosadko    Victim Assistance Coordinator

860-541-6475

kathleen.nowosadko@aohct.org

In addition, you will be asked to follow up in writing with a detailed description of the facts involved in the incident.  Specifics of this written report can be found in the Policies and Procedures of the Archdiocese of Hartford Relating to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Involving Minors and Vulnerable Adults. This document is also available online at www.archdioceseofhartford.org.  The Archdiocese of Hartford will report any and all incidents to the proper civil authorities.

How are the Policies and Procedures Distributed?2019-01-18T15:01:49+00:00

Distribution of these written policies and procedures shall be as broad as reasonably possible.  They will also be posted on the website for the Archdiocese of Hartford.

2.1 Acknowledgement of receipt and understanding shall be included with personal contracts of employment with entities of the Archdiocese.

2.2 A signed acknowledgment of receipt and understanding shall be obtained from any Personnel of the Archdiocese who has contact with Minors and/or Vulnerable Adults, and shall be kept on file at the parish, school or Archdiocesan entity wherein the person is employed or volunteers.

What is being done to insure the safety of minors and vulnerable adults?2019-01-18T15:01:43+00:00

Safe Environment Program and Background Checks (BGCs)

3.1  The Archdiocese will also evaluate the background of all Personnel of the Archdiocese who have contact with Minors and/or Vulnerable Adults in their ministerial or employment duties, by causing them to undergo a standard Background Check.

3.1(a) All employees of a Catholic school must undergo a Fingerprint Background Check. All such employees must undergo a standard Background Check every 10 years following the initial fingerprinting, or at any time if the employee changes schools. (Every 5 years effective 2019)

3.1(b)  All Personnel of the Archdiocese who have contact with Minors and/or Vulnerable Adults are required to promptly self-report any convictions involving criminal and/or motor vehicle matters, current or pending, to their pastor, principal or supervisor who will in turn notify the Office of Safe Environment.

3.1(c)  Standard Background Checks will be repeated every 10 years.

3.1(d)  A Standard Background Check should be re-done any time an employee or volunteer leaves employment or the volunteer position for more than one year and seeks to become employed by and/or volunteer at either the same or new parish, a parish school, Archdiocesan Catholic School, the Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation, or Catholic ministry sponsored by the Archdiocese of Hartford.

3.1(e) Any employee who works in more than one entity set forth in section 3.1 (d) must comply with sections 3.1 (a), (b), (c), and (d), however they will not need to complete separate standard background checks for each employer. Any individual who volunteers at more than such entity must comply with sections 3.1, 3.1 (b), (c), and (d).  A background check to fulfill a requirement for any other organization (i.e. Scouting, State Police, Teachers, etc.) will not be accepted as a background check for the Archdiocese of Hartford. The background check must have been completed specifically for the Archdiocese of Hartford.

  • What kind of background checks are being conducted in the AOH?
    • The AOH completes two different types of background checks. Initially, Fingerprint Background Checks are completed on all employees of our Catholic Schools. These captured fingerprints are scanned and sent electronically, along with specific required personal information, to the CT-DESPP and the FBI.  All other BGCs are completed by Mind Your Business, Inc.  These checks are processed on the personal information supplied by the applicant (ie. Name, Address, DOB, SS#)
  • Again, who are required to have background checks?
    • All employees, including clergy of the Archdiocese, its parishes, schools, offices and agencies and any volunteer in a leadership role or who has contact with a minor or vulnerable through their ministry.
  • What does the background check cover?
    • It includes State and National Criminal Files, Social Security Number Verification and National Sex Offender Registry.
  • Does the AOH have a policy for how the information it obtained through the background check is used?
    •  Specific criteria will be applied in considering whether or not an individual will be eligible for initial or continued employment or service as a volunteer in positions with any Archdiocesan entity where the individual involved may have contact with minors or vulnerable adults.  In some instances, criminal convictions will automatically bar and applicant.  In other instances, the totality of the circumstances may result in the barring of an individual.  Other circumstances may necessitate obtaining additional information.  In all instance, the safety of minors and/or vulnerable adults is paramount

The Pastor, Administrator, or Principal will be notified by phone that an individual is barred from employment or volunteering.  The details of the matter will notbe discussed, only that the individual is barred and, if applicable the date in which they are able to be re-considered for employment of volunteering.  The applicant will be sent a letter stating such and the Pastor, Administrator or Principal will be copied on the letter.

  • Is all of the information that is revealed in the background check passed along to the pastor?
    • No, unless the applicant has given in writing the authorization to release the results of the records to a specific pastor.
  • Why?
    • The OSE Code of Ministerial Behavior III. 2. A. b. provides that the AOH shall not harm the reputation of others through:
      • Disclosing the faults or failings of others to persons who have no cause to know them.
      • Disclosing confidential information, except in cases of mandated reporting of child abuse or neglect
      • Disclosing personal information that could cause an individual to suffer embarrassment, humiliation or public ridicule of any kind.
  • Where is that policy available?
    • The policy is made available to every school and parish, and provided to any volunteer/employee when requested.
  • How does the AOH monitor the process of rechecking volunteers, employees and clergy? 
    • The Office of Safe Environment maintains a detailed software data program designed specifically for their needs. A report is generated and sent to the parishes and schools generally about every 2-3 months, or upon request of the school/parish.  Site Coordinators at every school/parish are responsible for reviewing the names provided in the report and ensuring that all persons listed are up to date with their BGC.  The OSE visits with parishes/schools, and continuously monitors the SE data reports to make certain that all policies and codes are being followed and to ensure that all personnel are in compliance
  • How are background checks handled for priests and/or seminarians who come to the US (to the Archdiocese of Hartford) from other countries?
    • Priests, deacons and seminarians from other countries are subject to all Visa requirements of the State Department and any and all background checks required by their Diocese in their country of origin. These include governmental and Church related policies. When they become affiliated with the AOH, they are subject to all the requirements of this Archdiocese. Priests and deacons must also bring with them a “letter of suitability” to perform any liturgical/ministerial function or to take up residence within the Archdiocese.
What is a “Letter of Suitability?”2019-01-18T14:27:58+00:00

Does the requirement of a “letter of suitability” apply to priests of the United States from other dioceses?

  • Yes, Priests and Deacons from outside the Archdiocese of Hartford must submit a letter of suitability to perform any ministry whatsoever, including masses, baptisms, weddings and funerals within the boundaries of the Archdiocese. Any Clergy member from outside the AOH who will be residing in the AOH for any period of time (owns a home, studying, research, etc.) must also provide a letter of suitability from their bishop or provincial, and are also subject to all the requirements of the AOH.
  • Is there a DCF search done?
    • Under CT State 10-221d, DCF searches are completed on all school employees by the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis.
How are clergy transferred between Dioceses?2019-01-18T14:03:16+00:00

Transfers Between Dioceses

No priest or deacon who has committed an act of sexual abuse of a Minor or Vulnerable Adult may be transferred for ministerial assignment to another diocese/eparchy or religious province.  Before a priest or deacon of the Archdiocese may be transferred for residence to another diocese/eparchy or religious province, the Archbishop shall forward in a confidential manner to the local bishop/eparch and religious ordinary (if applicable) of the proposed place of residence, any and all information concerning any act of sexual abuse of a Minor or Vulnerable Adult and any other information indicating that he has been or may be a danger to Minors or Vulnerable Adults.  This shall apply even if the priest or deacon will reside in the local community of an institute of consecrated life or society of apostolic life (or, in the Eastern Churches, as a monk or other religious, in a secular institute, or in another form of consecrated life or society of apostolic life).

12.2     Before the Archbishop receives a priest or deacon from outside his jurisdiction, the Archbishop will obtain the necessary information regarding any past act of sexual abuse of a Minor or Vulnerable Adult by the priest or deacon in question.

What training is required for adults?  Employees, etc.2019-01-18T14:05:23+00:00

Sexual Abuse Awareness Training – Adults

All employees of the Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation, and any other Personnel of the Archdiocese who have contact with Minors and/or Vulnerable Adults, must attend the Sexual Abuse Awareness Training which the Archdiocese of Hartford has selected to meet the criteria established in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Any Personnel of the Archdiocese who completed training in a different diocese must submit proof of attendance from that diocese’s Sexual Abuse Awareness Training.  Proof of completion of such training will satisfy the requirements of the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Training to fulfill a requirement for any other organization (i.e. Scouting, State Police, Teachers, etc.) will not be accepted as training for the Archdiocese of Harford.  The Sexual Abuse Awareness Training must have been completed in the Archdiocese of Hartford, other arch/diocese, or eparchy to fulfill the requirement from another archdiocese, diocese or eparchy.

Personnel of the Archdiocese, who are attending the selected Sexual Abuse Awareness Training for the first time, in order to meet the requirements of the Charter, must attend the specifically approved training program of the Archdiocese of Hartford.

All Priests, Deacons, Principals, Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education and Facilitators of the Sexual Abuse Awareness Training Programs, are responsible for continuing education.

Records of Sexual Abuse Awareness Training will be kept permanently.

  • What does the training entail?
    • Three hour mandatory session conducted by an employee of the Office of Safe Environment or a trained facilitator. The Archdiocese currently uses the Virtus: Protecting God’s Children for Adults program.
  • What is the expectation of the AOH regarding the monthly on line training?
    • It is expected that all Priests, Deacons, Principals, DRE/CREs and Virtus Facilitators read the monthly bulletins provided by Virtus.
What sexual abuse training is available for minors?2019-01-18T14:06:28+00:00

Sexual Abuse Awareness Training – Minors

 Any student enrolled in a religious education program at a parish in Grades 1 through 10, and any student enrolled in a Catholic school Grades 1 through 12 will be offered the opportunity to attend a Child Sexual Abuse Awareness program as designated by the Office of Safe Environment. This program must be offered to all students, every school year, in every grade. Attendance at such a program will be kept on record at the parish school level and/or religious education office each year. These records must be kept permanently. Presently we are using the Think First, Stay Safe: Child/Teens Lures Prevention

 Opt Out forms are available for parents or guardians who choose not to allow their student to attend these programs.  Should a parent or guardian make a verbal request to ‘opt out’ but fail or refuse to sign the form, a signature from the DRE/CRE, Principal or the Pastor will be accepted as proof of the Opt Out.

 

How are allegations reported? 2019-01-18T14:08:06+00:00

Reporting to Civil Authorities Instances, Allegations or Suspicions of Sexual Misconduct of Minors or Vulnerable Adults

Personnel of the Archdiocese are expected and required to comply with all applicable civil laws of the State of Connecticut with respect to reporting to civil authorities all instances where there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that Sexual Misconduct involving a Minor or Vulnerable Adult has occurred (unless to do so would violate the priest/penitent relationship of the Sacrament of Reconciliation). Failure to report to civil authorities as required will result in appropriate sanctions and can, by law, result in fines or criminal prosecution.  Personnel of the Archdiocese are also expected and required to advise victims of their right to make a report to public authorities and to support that right.  They are also expected and required to cooperate in investigations by civil authorities regarding allegations of this type (unless to do so would violate the priest/penitent relationship of the Sacrament of Reconciliation).

Mandated Reporters Under Connecticut Law – Minors Connecticut law requires that persons engaged in certain occupations report all incidents of known or suspected child abuse, neglect, intentional injury, injury which is at variance with the history given of the injury, or imminent risk of serious harm, including but not limited to sexual abuse involving a Minor, to state or local authorities whether or not the child abuse, neglect, injury or imminent risk was brought about by Personnel of the Archdiocese.  Gen. Stats. §17a-101 et seq.  Individuals who are mandated reporters include but are not limited to: physicians and surgeons licensed by the state, residents or interns in hospitals within the state, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, psychologists, dentists, school employees (teachers, substitute teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, paraprofessionals, coaches, etc.), or any other person who in performance of duties has regular contact with students, pursuant to contract with a school, social workers, clergy members, mental health professionals, physician assistants, certified substance abuse counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, sexual assault counselors, domestic violence counselors, and paid daycare workers.

Nature and Substance of Reports of Suspected Sexual Misconduct Involving Minors

 The reporting requirements under Connecticut law are set forth in Conn. Gen. Stats. §17a-101a et seq. and can be summarized as follows:  Where there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child under the age of eighteen (1) has been abused or neglected, (2) has sustained a non-accidental physical injury or injury that is at variance with the history given of such injury or (3) is placed at imminent risk of serious harm, an oral report must be made as soon as practicable (but no later than twelve (12) hours after the mandated reporter has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that abuse has occurred) to either the State Commissioner of Children and Families or the Commissioner’s representative, or to a law enforcement agency. A mandated reporter’s suspicion or belief may be based on many factors, including but not limited to observations, allegations, facts or statement by a child, victim or third party.  Such suspicion or belief does not require certainty or probable cause. The oral report must be followed within forty-eight (48) hours with a written report to the Commissioner of Children and Families or the Commissioner’s designee.  The oral and written reports shall contain, if known, the names and addresses of the child and his parents or other person responsible for the child’s care; the age of the child; the gender of the child; the nature and extent of the child’s injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect; the approximate date and time the injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect occurred; information concerning any previous injury or injuries to, maltreatment or neglect of the child or his/her siblings; the circumstances in which the injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect came to be known to the reporter; the name of the person or persons suspected to be responsible for causing such injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect; the reasons such person or persons are suspected of causing such injury or injuries, maltreatment or neglect; any information concerning any prior cases in which such person or persons have been suspected of causing injury, maltreatment or neglect of a child; and whatever action, if any, was taken to treat, provide shelter or otherwise assist the child.

4.3 Reports Where School Personnel Are Involved  When an employee of a school or institution or facility that provides care for a child is suspected of causing the abuse, the report must be made as described in Section 4.2 above.  The Connecticut State Commissioner of Children and Families or the Commissioner’s designee shall notify the person in charge of such school, institution or facility or the person’s designee and such person in charge or such person’s designee, must immediately notify the child’s parent or other person responsible for the child’s care that a report has been made. Conn. Gen. Stats. §17a-101b(d). When a mandated reporter is a member of the staff of a school, institution or facility that provides care for such child, said reporter shall also submit a copy of the written report to the person in charge of such school, institution or facility or the person’s designee.  Where the report concerns a certified school employee, a copy of the written report shall also be sent by the Commissioner of Children and Families or the Commissioner’s designee to the Commissioner of Education or the Commissioner’s designee. Where the report concerns an employee of a facility or institution that provides care for a child, which is licensed by the state, a copy of the written report shall also be sent by the Commissioner of Children and Families to the executive head of the state licensing agency. Conn. Gen. Stats. §17a-101c.

4.4 Failure to Report Suspected Sexual Misconduct Involving a Minor and/or Filing of False Reports  The failure of a mandated reporter to make the required report of child abuse as described in Section 4.2 above can lead to criminal charges against the person who fails to make a report.  A person who intentionally interferes with the making of a report may also face criminal charges.  Any person who, in good faith, makes or does not make a report of suspected child abuse shall be immune from liability, civil or criminal.  Likewise, no employer shall discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against any employee who in good faith makes a report of suspected child abuse.  Conn. Gen. Stats. §17a-101e(a) and §17a-101e(b).  Any person who knowingly makes a false report of child abuse or neglect shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than one year or both. Conn. Gen. Stats. §17a-101e(d).

4.5 Reporting to Civil Authorities Instances of Suspected Sexual Misconduct Involving Vulnerable Adults  (a) In situations where a mandated reporter has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that there has been Sexual Misconduct involving a Vulnerable Adult who is sixty (60) years of age or older, the suspected abuse must be reported to the Department of Social Services within seventy-two (72) hours.  The report must include the name and address of the elderly person, information regarding the nature and extent of the abuse, and any other information that the reporter believes might be helpful in an investigation of the case and the protection of such elderly person.  Failure to make the report as required may result in a fine of up to five hundred dollars, except that if the mandated reporter intentionally fails to make the report as required, such person shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A misdemeanor for any subsequent offense. Any person who makes a report in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability in connection with the report.  Conn. Gen. Stats. §17b-451. 

(b)  In situations where a mandated reporter has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that there has been Sexual Misconduct involving a Vulnerable Adult who is between the ages of 18 and 59, the suspected abuse must be reported orally to the Abuse Investigations Division of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities within seventy two (72) hours. The initial report must be followed by a written report submitted within five (5) calendar days of the oral report.  Failure to make the report as required may result in a fine of up to five hundred dollars. Any person who makes a report in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability in connection with the report.  Conn. Gen. Stats. § 46a-11b.

4.6  Reports By Others  If any mandated reporter acting outside his/her professional capacity or any other person has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a Minor or Vulnerable Adult has been the victim of Sexual Misconduct, that person may cause a written or oral report to be made to the appropriate agency as stated above or to law enforcement.

5.1 When an accusation of Sexual Misconduct involving a Minor or Vulnerable Adult that has a semblance of truth is made against any Personnel of the Archdiocese, contact will be promptly initiated by the Victim Assistance Coordinator with the alleged victim, and/or parent or guardian in the case of a Minor, or legally responsible party if the alleged victim is a Vulnerable Adult.  Contact should be made for the purpose of offering whatever concern or solace may be needed, with no comment as to the truth of any accusation.  Medical, mental health and spiritual assistance and, in appropriate instances, economic assistance may be offered in the spirit of Christian justice and charity, determined according to the specific situation presented.

5.2 Under the direction of the Victim Assistance Coordinator, competent counselors and social workers employed or designated by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese or other competent professionals will offer to provide appropriate assistance to persons who make a claim having a semblance of truth that any Personnel of the Archdiocese sexually abused them when they were Minors or Vulnerable Adults. This outreach will be made regardless of whether the alleged misconduct was recent or occurred many years in the past. The outreach will include the offer of counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups, or other social services agreed upon between the victim and the Archdiocese.

Is there an obligation to report to the Church as well?2019-01-18T14:09:06+00:00

6.1   Obligation to Report  In addition to and separate from any duty to report to civil authorities, Personnel of the Archdiocese are expected and required to report promptly to the Victim Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocese (unless to do so would violate the priest/penitent relationship of the Sacrament of Reconciliation) any instances of Sexual Misconduct involving a Minor or Vulnerable Adult committed by any Personnel of the Archdiocese and/or any instances where there is reasonable cause to suspect or believe that such Sexual Misconduct has occurred regardless of when the Sexual Misconduct may have occurred.  Likewise, any person who believes he or she has been the victim of Sexual Misconduct while a Minor or as a Vulnerable Adult by Personnel of the Archdiocese or knows of someone else who was such a victim is encouraged to report the alleged misconduct to the Victim Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocese regardless of when the alleged Sexual Misconduct may have occurred. In the event that the alleged victim is a student at an Archdiocesan Catholic school or parish school or is a patient/client at an Archdiocesan sponsored Catholic institution or facility within the Archdiocese that provides care for Minors or Vulnerable Adults and/or the alleged perpetrator is an employee or volunteer at such school, institution or facility, then the report shall also be made promptly to the person in charge of such Archdiocesan Catholic school or parish school, or Archdiocesan sponsored Catholic institution or facility or such person’s designee.  If the alleged victim or perpetrator is a student at, employed by, or a volunteer at an Archdiocesan Catholic school or parish school within the Archdiocese, then the report should also be made promptly to the Archdiocesan School Office.

 6.2   How to Report  The report(s) of Sexual Misconduct as referenced in Section 6.1 above shall be made by telephone, e-mail or mail.  The report shall include the name and contact information of the alleged victim and the complainant, the name and position of the Archdiocesan personnel alleged to have been engaged in the misconduct, and the details of the incident.  The Victim Assistance Coordinator shall keep a written record of all reports

What is the “Review Board”? Who is on it?2019-01-18T14:10:12+00:00

7.1 Nature and Scope of the Review Board The Archdiocese will maintain a Review Board that will function as a confidential, consultative advisory body to the Archbishop in discharging his responsibilities with regard to allegations of Sexual Misconduct involving Minors or Vulnerable Adults directed against Personnel of the Archdiocese.  The functions of this Review Board include:  (a) advising the Archbishop in his assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of Minors and/or Vulnerable Adults and in his determination of suitability for ministry; (b) reviewing Archdiocesan policies for dealing with sexual abuse of Minors and Vulnerable Adults; and (c) offering advice on all aspects of these cases, whether retrospectively or prospectively.

The Review Board will be appointed by the Archbishop. It will be composed of persons of outstanding integrity and good judgment in full communion with the Church, and will consist of at least five persons.  The majority of the Review Board members will be laypersons who are not in the employ of the Archdiocese.  At least one member will be a priest who is an experienced and respected pastor of the Archdiocese.  At least one member should have expertise in dealing with Minors who have been sexually abused.  The members will be appointed for a term of five years, which may be renewed.  If not a member of the Review Board, the Promoter of Justice will be given notice of all meetings and encouraged to and may participate in the meetings of the Review Board.

Present members include: a former attorney who worked in the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters, having represented children victimized by sexual assault in Superior Court; a religious Sister with extensive ministry, educational and professional experience; a board-certified psychiatrist who remains in private practice, a priest of the Archdiocese who is Pastor of a large parish with a school, and a medical a doctor in private practice of Family Medicine; along with an ex-officio member: Moderator of the Curia.  It is desirable that the Promoter of Justice participate in the meetings and that the Legal Counsel and Victim Assistance Coordinator attend.

7.3 Recommendations by the Review Board  Following the Review Board’s consideration of the results of the investigation of a report of Sexual Misconduct involving a Minor or Vulnerable Adult by Personnel of the Archdiocese, it shall make whatever reasonable and prudent recommendations it deems just and appropriate to the Archbishop including, but not limited to, whether the allegations are or are not supported by sufficient evidence to warrant action against the alleged perpetrator; and if the allegations are supported by sufficient evidence to warrant action, what action should be taken in accordance with Ecclesiastical or civil law.

  • Is the Archdiocesan Review Board appointed by the Archbishop?
    • Yes, members of the Review Board are appointed by the Archbishop
  • Has the Archbishop ever declined to follow the recommendation of the Review Board?
  • No

 

How can it be determined that these policies are being followed?2019-01-18T14:10:51+00:00
  • An audit is conducted.
  • The Audit, as mandated in Article 9 of the Charter, which charges the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, established by the USCCB, with providing an annual public report on the progress made in implementing and maintaining the standards in this Charter. The report is to be based on the annual audit process whose method, scope, and cost are to be approved by the Administrative Committee.
  • Who performs the audit?
  • An independent audit company contracted by the USCCB.
  • Period of 2002 through 2008 The Gavin Group
  • Period of 2008 through 2018 Bridgestone Business Partners
  • Is it based on self – reporting or is there an actual on-site audit by an independent third party?
  • In a three year cycle, two years are paper audits and the third year is onsite in the Archdiocese.

What have been the results for the Archdiocese of Hartford?

  • Every year since the first audit in 2003, the Archdiocese of Hartford has been found to be in compliance with the Charter.

What is the policy regarding confidentiality? Article 3 of the Charter

  • Article 3 of the Charter forbids the entering into of settlements which bind the parties to confidentiality, unless the victim/survivor request confidentiality and this request is noted in the text of the agreement.

 

What are  the “Procedures” involved when claims of sexual abuse are received?2019-01-18T14:11:21+00:00

8.6 Investigation Procedure  The Archbishop will promptly refer any report of alleged Sexual Misconduct involving a Minor or Vulnerable Adult by Personnel of the Archdiocese to the Archdiocesan Response Team which will then commence an investigation of the allegations with care taken not to interfere with any confidential or civil/criminal investigation on the part of civil authorities and with a high level of Christian care, concern and confidentiality for the alleged victim, the family of the alleged victim, the person reporting the incident and the alleged perpetrator. Unless circumstances warrant in a particular instance, the investigation ordinarily will be conducted in accordance with the following guidelines: 

(a)  Promptly after receiving a report of alleged Sexual Misconduct involving a Minor or Vulnerable Adult, a member of the Archdiocesan Response Team will encourage the alleged victim to submit a written description of the alleged incident(s). 

(b)  The Archdiocesan Response Team will attempt to identify and contact any other persons, in addition to the alleged victim, who may have relevant knowledge about the allegation. 

(c)  In connection with a current allegation, after giving the State Department of Children and Families a reasonable opportunity to investigate the allegation, a member of the Archdiocesan Response Team will promptly notify the accused person about the substance of the allegations.  In connection with an allegation of Sexual Misconduct from the past (not recent or ongoing misconduct), a member of the Archdiocesan Response Team will promptly notify the accused person of the substance of the allegations. After the accused is given an opportunity to retain counsel, the accused person’s response to the allegations will be sought. 

(d)  All appropriate steps will be taken to protect the reputation of the alleged perpetrator during the investigation. 

(e)  The Archdiocesan Response Team will immediately notify the Archbishop of any information developed in the course of the investigation that, in its judgment, warrants immediate attention.  In all events, the results of the Archdiocesan Response Team’s investigation will be conveyed to the Archbishop and to the Review Board of the Archdiocese.

What Pastoral Care and outreach is offered to victims/survivors and their families?2019-01-18T14:12:20+00:00

5.0  Sexual Misconduct involving Minors and/or Vulnerable Adults can cause serious and continuing emotional and psychological problems for the victim.  Therefore, the Archdiocese is committed to providing victims of such misconduct with appropriate professional assistance to address these consequences of Sexual Misconduct by any Personnel of the Archdiocese.

The Archbishop will appoint a Victim Assistance Coordinator, who will be charged with providing pastoral care, support and resources to victims/survivors of Sexual Misconduct by Personnel of the Archdiocese of Hartford and will be responsible for receiving notification of all allegations of Sexual Misconduct involving a Minor or Vulnerable Adult-directed against Personnel of the Archdiocese. The Victim Assistance Coordinator will advise the alleged victim of his/her rights and the procedures to be implemented under this Policy.

  • All victims/survivors are offered the opportunity, if they so choose, to meet with Archbishop Blair.
  • Counseling and therapy both psychological and spiritual, opportunity for prayer, Masses for Healing are offered.

Outreach to Affected Parishes/Schools

The Victim Assistance Coordinator will be responsible for causing immediate steps to be taken to assist and support parish and/or school communities directly affected by Sexual Misconduct involving Minors or Vulnerable Adults by Personnel of the Archdiocese.  This outreach may be accomplished by competent counselors or social workers employed or designated by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese or other competent professionals under the direction of the Victim Assistance Coordinator.  The outreach may consist of a parish and/or school meeting at the affected parish/school, an offer of counseling to members of the affected community, explanation of the response process and informing the affected community of the action taken in response to the allegation.

What are the Financial Implications of this Crisis? 2019-01-18T14:12:42+00:00

See Clergy Sexual Abuse Financial Report

 

What is done in the Seminary Training? 2019-01-18T14:13:39+00:00
  • Are psychological screening tools used?
    • Yes, all Seminarians must undergo the following psychological testing:
  • Psychological Examination: Clinical Interview; Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence; Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2; Coolidge Assessment Battery; FIRO Awareness Scales/Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; Brown ADD Scales; Sexual Addiction Screening Test; Internet Sex Screening Test; and Rorschach Test.
  • Sexual Identity and Orientation: Family of Origin; Prepubescent Sexual Development; Sexual Abuse History; Puberty and Adolescence; Sexual Orientation; Dating and Adult Sexual Activity; Pedophilia and other Problematic Sexual Behavior
  • Is there a seminarian advisory board to screen candidates for admission?
    • Yes

 

 

If one of the priests on the list baptized my baby or celebrated my marriage, is the sacrament still valid and legal? Do I have to renew my vows?2019-03-05T23:41:37+00:00

“Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify. They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies. The Father always hears the prayer of his Son’s Church which, in the epiclesis of each sacrament, expresses her faith in the power of the Spirit. As fire transforms into itself everything it touches, so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is subjected to his power” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1127).

“This is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation that the sacraments act ex opere operato (literally: ‘by the very fact of the action’s being performed’), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all. It follows that ‘the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God’ (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 68, 8).  From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1128).

St. Thomas sums up the various aspects of sacramental signs: “Therefore a sacrament is a sign that commemorates what precedes it–Christ’s Passion; demonstrates what is accomplished in us through Christ’s Passion—grace; and prefigures what that Passion pledges to us—future glory” (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 60, 3).

Therefore, the sacrament(s) celebrated by a priest who is on the list is/are valid and legal; there is no need to re-baptize the person or to renew the marriage vows if the sacrament was celebrated by one of these priests.

GLOSSARY:

AOH – AOH is the abbreviation for Archdiocese of Hartford. The Archdiocese of Hartford is the geographic region comprised of Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven Counties.

Archbishop – The title of a bishop with jurisdiction over an archdiocese, which is the principal see (diocese) of a large geographic region. The Archbishop governs the archdiocese as an authentic successor of the apostles.

Archdiocesan Priest – Archdiocesan priests are under the direction of their local bishop. Most serve in the parishes of the diocese, but they may also be assigned to other diocesan posts and ministries or be released for service outside the diocese. (From United States Conference of Catholic  Bishops/USCCB glossary).

Canon Law – A code of ecclesiastical laws governing the Catholic Church. (From USCCB glossary).

Cathedraticum – The diocesan assessment on parish revenue. (From Financial Accountability Report).

Cleric – Sacred minister of the Church. (Canon Law/C.207)

Credibly Accused – For the purposes of this report, it refers to a cleric who has been the object of a credible claim of sexual abuse involving a minor. A credible claim is defined as one that, under the circumstances known at the time of determination, would cause a prudent person to conclude that there was a significant possibility that the incident occurred. It is important to note that disclosure of the names of these clerics does not necessarily mean that the accusation has been proven in a court of law or definitively shown to have occurred through a formal process, or has been admitted by the person accused. It is also important to keep in mind that the clerics who died before any allegation was made against them did not have an opportunity to respond to the allegation.

Director of Safe Environment – An archdiocesan employee appointed by the Archbishop who is tasked with the duties of ensuring that all parishes, Catholic schools, and all Entities that come under the Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation are in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms.

Extern Priest – An extern priest is one that ministers in a diocese other than his own.

Laicization The process by which a priest is returned to the lay state. It is sometimes used as a penalty for a serious crime or scandal, but more often it comes at the request of the priest. A laicized priest is barred from all priestly ministry with one exception: He may give absolution to someone in immediate danger of death. The pope must approve all requests for laicization. When a priest is laicized without his consent, for a crime such as living in concubinage, committing child sexual abuse or using the confessional to solicit sex, it is sometimes called defrocking or unfrocking. Those terms, which are not used in church law, should be restricted to forcible laicizations, since they connote a penalty. (From USCCB Glossary).

Masses of Reparation – In ordinary speech “reparation” simply means making amends to another person or persons for an offense or injustice committed against them. Inasmuch as an offense or injustice is sinful, it also demands that reparation be made to God. Sexual abuse is a sin against a person created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the sacrificial death of Christ on the Cross. It is a sin against another person and a sin against God. Spiritual reparation and healing need to be made. These Masses will be celebrated with this in mind.

Minor – A person who has not yet reached his or her 18th birthday.

Prayer and Penance – Priests who have been sentenced by the Holy See in Rome to a life of “prayer and penance” can no longer function as a priest. The only thing that remains to their priestly identity is that they can pray the Divine Office and say Mass alone in a room with absolutely no one else present.

Religious Order Priest – Religious priests are professed members of a religious order or institute. Religious clergy live according to the rule of their respective orders. In pastoral ministry, they are under the jurisdiction of their local bishop, as well as of the superiors of their order. (From USCCB glossary).

Sexual Misconduct – Refers to any sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual molestation, or sexual exploitation of a Minor or Vulnerable Adult as well as any other behavior by which an adult uses a Minor or Vulnerable Adult as an object or instrument of sexual gratification and/or any sexual conduct which is unlawful as described by the laws of the State of Connecticut whether the conduct is performed in person with the Minor or Vulnerable Adult or via telephone, computer, internet, social networking sites, etc. Sexual misconduct includes violation of the sixth commandment. For example, it would include, but not be limited to, complete acts of intercourse, touching of intimate or private parts of a Minor or Vulnerable Adult for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal or for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the Minor or Vulnerable adult, a request to touch the intimate or private parts of the adult, the exposure of intimate or private parts of the adult to a Minor or Vulnerable Adult, the request that a Minor or Vulnerable Adult expose his or her intimate or private parts, the showing of pornographic materials to a Minor or Vulnerable Adult, lewd communications with a Minor or Vulnerable Adult, etc. Sexual misconduct would also include misconduct that does not involve force, physical contact of a discernible harmful outcome. (From Archdiocese of Hartford Office of Safe Environment Handbook).

Victim Assistance Coordinator –  An archdiocesan employee appointed by the Archbishop to coordinate assistance for the immediate pastoral care of persons who claim to have been sexually abused when they were Minors by clergy or personnel of the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Vulnerable Adult – A person who is at least 18 years of age with an intellectual disability.