The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statements

Statement Regarding Appointment of New Bishop to Springfield, MA Diocese

For More Information:
Peter Pollard, coordinator, Western Massachusetts SNAP 413-335-9969
Ann Hagan Webb, SNAP New England Coordinator 781-239-1182
Bill Gately, SNAP New England Coordinator 508-743-0297

March 9, 2004

The resignation of Bishop Dupre after allegations of abuse left a gaping hole in the Diocese of Springfield. The problems in Springfield reflect decades of mismanagement, cover up, protection of perpetrator priests and their criminal behavior, and possible destruction of diocesan documents. Let us not be naive in assuming that this could be rectified quickly by the right bishop. The problems in the diocese reflect the actions of its former leader, Bishop Thomas Dupre, but also his inner circle. The diocese was not the domain of one corrupt man, and cannot be "cleaned up quickly" by one honest man.

We must remember that the road to recovery for the Springfield Diocese will be long and difficult. Only an atmosphere of complete transparency, unfettered cooperation with government investigations, and a reevaluation of all past accusations of abuse and misconduct will restore the trust of the laity and begin the process of healing for the victims.

We wish Bishop Timothy McDonnell well in this arduous task.

Bishop McDonnell has served as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of New York under Cardinal Egan since January, 2002. The Archdiocese of New York has been under fire for it’s lack of transparency and continued protection of sexually abusive priests. Unlike the Archdiocese of Boston and the Diocese of Springfield, The Archdiocese of New York received no "Commendations" in the audit conducted earlier this year by the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the United Conference of Catholic Bishops. Several recommendations and instructions were made. Among them was instruction for the Archdiocese to implement a Safe Environment program for children. As of December, 2003 this had not occurred.


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests