NY Catholic priest put on leave after he appears on the clergy offender list for the Diocese of Springfield MA
The Diocese of Albany removed Fr. Jeffrey L’Arche from his parish assignments after learning that the priest was on the list of clergy offenders for the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts. Fr. L'Arche is a member of the Missionaries of La Salette religious order. The priest is accused of abusing a minor from 1976-1981 when he worked at Immaculate Conception Parish in Holyoke.
Apparently, the La Salettes conducted an internal investigation and deemed the allegation "not credible." We would like to know what information Catholic officials in Springfield have in their possession that warranted a different conclusion.
According to Fr. L'Arche assignment history, he worked in Connecticut, Florida, and Massachusetts before being transferred to the Albany Diocese in 1997. To us, these assignments in multiple states can be a red flag, as a part of the Catholic playbook for handling cases of abuse is to transfer offenders to other geographic areas.
We call on the Springfield Diocese to release all the information it has to explain why it placed Fr. L’Arche on their clergy offenders list. We believe that the Diocese may have additional information that should be shared with parishioners and the public in all of the states where the priest worked.
We urge anyone who was sexually abused or has information regarding Fr. L’Arche to contact local law enforcement directly.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)