Questionable Clerics are Given the Wrong Role

According to new church video, two Massachusetts Catholic clerics with troubling records on child sex abuse have been put in charge of contacting families of deceased victims.

Springfield bishop William Byrne has given this task to Monsignors David Joyce and George Farland, despite their troubling records in child sex cases.

According to a deposition, both monsignors allegedly heard now-disgraced Bishop Thomas Dupre (a credibly accused child molester) when Dupre admitted destroying church abuse and cover up records.

According to the Official Catholic Directory, both monsignors were vicars of clergy from roughly from 1997-2015, so both are veteran ‘insiders’ who are well familiar with their current and former colleagues who have committed and concealed child sex crimes. Yet neither, as best we can tell, has aggressively reported these wrongdoers to law enforcement or even spoken out against them.

Msgr. Joyce, in fact, was on the personal board for four decades. He was also pastor of Sacred Heart in Feeding Hills / Agawam where notorious Stigmatine predator Fr. Richard Ahern was his predecessor.

Msgr. Joyce was also transferred to Our Lady of Hope in Springfield after Fr. Alfred Graves was reportedly removed quietly after molesting kids.

It’s hard to believe Bishop Byrne cares about reform when he seems to keep the same machinery and cast of characters in place despite scandal after scandal. He seems to consider abuse and cover up as a public relations problem.

During Msgr. Joyce’s tenure on the personnel board – around 1979 -Fr. Richard Lavigne was named head of St Joseph Shelburne Falls, seven years after the murder of Danny Croteau. Lavigne was the prime suspect!

We are concerned that these two men are apparently now in charge of reaching out to traumatized families. Bishop Byrne should re-examine his choices and victims should be careful before contacting these clerics.

A high ranking Minnesota church official was just blasted by an archdiocesan investigation for his role in ignoring or hiding child sex crimes. We would believe the Springfield bishop cares about kids if he would take a similar step in his diocese and punish at least one of the several clerics who deserve to be disciplined, not promoted.

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