18 Springfield priests named in settlement
By Bill Zajac, Springfield Republican
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
SPRINGFIELD - The 45 people who agreed to a settlement with
the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield after alleging clergy
sex abuse had made claims against 18 priests, including three
who previously had not been publicly identified as facing
The Revs. Paul T. Boudreau, Eugene Dranka and Thomas F. O'Malley
were listed among the 18 priests who had allegations made
against them. Dranka and O'Malley are deceased. Boudreau has
denied any wrongdoing.
The names of the 18 were released recently by Greenfield
lawyer John J. Stobierski, who represents the 45 people who
Aug. 5 agreed to settle their claims for about $7.5 million.
Twenty or so other claimants represented by other lawyers
are awaiting word from the diocese on the method in which
their claims may be settled.
Although the diocese refused to comment about the 18 priests
and whether previous allegations have been made against them,
Stobierski said identifying accused priests is consistent
with the policy U.S. bishops established in Dallas two years
"The Dallas norms set forth the fact that these settlements
will not be done in secret any longer. To that end, my clients
want the names of priests who allegedly abused them made public,"
Stobierski said the naming of the priests adds closure for
"To the survivors, each one of these people sat in silence
for years believing they were the only one molested and that
it was their fault. Each survivors desires to have the name
of their abuser made public to give assurance and comfort
to other victims who are still suffering in silence,"
The 14 others who were accused of sexual abuse by the 45
claimants are Richard R. Lavigne and Ronald Malboeuf, who
have both been defrocked, and the Revs. John J. Bonzagni,
John Corbin, Donald V. Dube, Clarence Forand, Alfred Graves,
E. Karl Huller, Roy Jenness, Edward M. Kennedy, John A. Koonz,
Francis P. Lavelle, Richard F. Meehan and David Welch.
The men, except for Welch, have been identified after having
been named in civil suits or by a diocese report that there
are credible allegations against them. Welch was named in
a complaint filed with the diocese.
Lavigne, who pleaded guilty to molestation charges
in 1992, is the only one of the 18 priests who has been criminally
The name of one person is being withheld pending a clarification
between the diocese and Stobierski.
Dranka, who had two allegations made against him, and O'Malley
are both deceased. Boudreau, who abandoned the priesthood
several decades ago, lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Boudreau, contacted several months ago, denied the
allegation of abuse. A Springfield native, Boudreau was ordained
in 1955 and served in Easthampton, Springfield, Pittsfield
Dranka, a native of Three Rivers and a member of the
LaSallette Order, served in parishes in Westfield and Bondsville
as well as LaSallette settings in Texas and New Hampshire.
He died at age 66 in 1974.
O'Malley served in parishes in Palmer's Thorndike
section, Shelburne Falls, Holyoke, Springfield, Worcester
and North Adams. O'Malley, a Clinton native, was ordained
in 1930 and died at age 84 in 1985.
Bonzagni is the only priest of the 18 who remains
in ministry. He is assigned to St. Vincent de Paul Parish
in Lenoxdale. He previously denied a woman's allegation that
he had abused her.
Dube, who was removed from ministry by the diocese
in the 1990s because of at least one credible allegation of
sexual abuse, died last year.
Graves, Kennedy, Koonz, Lavelle
and Meehan were removed from ministry by the diocese because
of credible accusations of sexual abuse, according to diocesan
Malboeuf was defrocked in 1989. Corbin, Huller and
Jenness were accused of sexually abusing minors in lawsuits
filed against the diocese.
Welch and Forand were accused of being abusers
by their alleged victims in news reports. The diocese acknowledged
that a credible accusation was made against Forand.
Copyright 2004 MassLive.com.