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Diocese of Bridgeport Releases Updated List of Names of Priests and Deacons Relating to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors, Includes Six from St. Mary and More From Other Local Churches

Report by Paula Antolini, October 7, 2019, 9:22AM EDT

The Diocese of Bridgeport has released the names of individuals relating to credible ‘Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors, Section 11.2,’ dating back to 1950s, and states that the Diocese will maintain a public record, including a website, that lists the names of diocesan priests and deacons who have been removed from ministry under this Policy.

There is also a list of priests not on the credibly accused list, but who were involved in cases and a settlement was paid, according to the Hartford Courant.

Read the Diocese of Bridgeport statement:

List Of Credibly Accused Diocesan Priests &
Accused Religious Order Priests Who Served In The Diocese Of Bridgeport

The Diocese of Bridgeport Policies and Procedures Relating to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors, Section 11.2, states that the Diocese will maintain a public record, including a website, that lists the names of diocesan priests and deacons who have been removed from ministry under this Policy. This policy is in accord with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies dealing with the Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors.

The information below includes the name of accused Diocesan Clerics or accused Religious Order Priests who served in the Diocese of Bridgeport. The list contains Dates of Birth if alive and if deceased, the year the cleric died; their status; the location of their diocesan assignments and ministries; the year of laicization where applicable and date when the accused cleric was convicted where applicable. This list will be updated as new information becomes available.

This list has been recently updated and reorganized into five (5) distinct categories as follows: (1) Credibly Accused Diocesan Clergy, Living; (2) Credibly Accused Diocesan Clergy, Deceased; (3) Credibly Accused Clergy, Religious Order and (4) Credibly Accused Clergy, Visiting from Other Dioceses.

First Posted: October 2015, Last Updated: 09/7/2019 (additions to list).

Some names of individuals connected with local churches are shown below (Read full list here).

LOCAL:

Credibly Accused Diocesan Clergy, Living

* Removed from ministry means unable to function as a priest because he was put on permanent administrative leave. Where applicable, we have included the year when the cleric was laicized (no longer a priest).

James Gay, Birth Year: 1931, Ordination: 1959, Allegation: Single allegation; Status: Left diocesan service in 1984, Faculties removed 2006; Administrative leave reaffirmed 2019, St. Peter, Bridgeport (1959-1964); Immaculate High School, Danbury (1964-1969); St. Mary, Bethel (1964-1969); St. Mary Boys High School (1969-1984); United States Navy (1984-2004)

Joseph Moore, Birth Year: 1944, Ordination: 1971, Allegation: Multiple allegations; Status: Removed from ministry 1997; Laicized 2004, St. Theresa, Trumbull (1972-1973); Assumption, Westport (1974- 1975); St. Joseph, Danbury (1976-1981); St. Mary, Bethel (1982-1983)

Credibly Accused Diocesan Clergy, Deceased

Note: in some cases, these allegations were brought forward after the accused was deceased and the death of the accused cleric prevented further investigation. Others were deemed credible when accused was living and accused has since died.

Martin Hitchcock, Birth Year: 1926, Ordination: 1951, Allegation: 2014, Multiple allegations, Status: Retired 1991; Second allegation came forward after deceased, St. James, Stratford (1951-1953); St. Peter, Danbury (1953-1959); St. Mary, Bethel (1959-1962); St. Joseph, Danbury (1962-1964); St. Lawrence, Huntington (1964-1967); Superintendent (1967-1971) St. Mary, Greenwich (1971-1991).

Raymond Pcolka, Birth Year: 1939, Ordination: 1965, Allegation: 2009, Multiple allegations; Status: Removed from ministry 2002; Laicized 2004, St. Benedict, Stamford (1996-1997), St. John Nepomucene, Bridgeport (1968-1973); St. Mary, Greenwich (1974); St. James, Stratford (1975); Holy Name of Jesus, Stratford (1976-1986); St. Mary, Bethel (1987-1988); Sacred Heart, Greenwich (1990-1993); Leave of Absence (1994-1995)

Paul Spodnick, Birth Year: 1902, Ordination: 1927, Allegatioin: 1976, Multiple allegations; Status: Retired 1968; Deceased before allegations investigated, Assumption Church, Ansonia (1928-1929); St. John
Nepomucene Church, Bridgeport (1929-1933); All Saint’s Church, New Britain (1933-1937); LOA (1937-1938); Immaculate Conception, Waterbury (1938-1944); Sacred Heart Church, Southbury (1944-1950); St. Mary’s Church, Bethel (1950-1955); Blessed Sacrament Church, Bridgeport (1955-1961); St. Benedict’s, Stamford (1961-1965); St. Joseph Manor, Trumbull (1965-1968).

Credibly Accused Clergy, Religious Order

Kieran T. Ahearn (Franciscan), Birth Year: 1938, Deceased: 1997, Allegation: Single allegation; Status: Removed from Ministry and Convicted 1993, St. Luke, Westport (1986-1990); St. Mary, Bethel (1991-1993).

*****

> Read more about this list from Bishop Caggiano
> Statement on additions to list of Credibly Accused

*****

According to Hartford Courant, the following information was provided by the Diocese of Bridgeport:

NOT ON DIOCESE CREDIBLY ACCUSED LIST BUT SETTLEMENTS PAID

Stanislaus Chmura

  • St. Thomas More, Arlington, VA (1970)
  • Church of the Holy Name, Stamford, CT (1975)
  • St. Peter, Bridgeport, CT (1978) (Visiting priest from Diocese of Richmond)

Abuse occurred from 1975-1976. One victim, aged 13. Removed from ministry in 1979 for reasons unrelated to allegation. Deceased.

Mark Grimes

  • St. Aloysius, New Canaan, CT (1964)
  • St. Rose of Lima, Newtown, CT St. Patrick’s, Bridgeport, CT (1966)
  • St. Peter’s, Danbury, CT (1973)
  • Western Connecticut State College (1976)
  • St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, MD (1979)
  • St. Maurice, Stamford, CT (1982)
  • St. Jerome’s, Norwalk, CT (1987)
  • Sacred Heart, Georgetown, CT
  • St. Edward the Confessor, New Fairfield, CT (1991)

Abuse occurred in 1969. One victim, aged 19. Faculties removed in 1998. Deceased.

Joseph Kettner

  • Sacred Heart Church, Georgetown, CT (Visiting priest, La Salette Order)

Abuse occurred in 1969-1970. Two victims, ages 7-8. Not a priest of Bridgeport Diocese and had no faculties. Deceased.

Joseph Malloy

  • St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Bridgeport, CT, Deacon (1969)
  • St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Trumbull, CT, Parochial Vicar (1974-76)
  • St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Trumbull, CT, Parochial Vicar (1974-76)
  • St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Trumbull, CT, Administrator (1976)
  • St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Trumbull, CT Parochial Vicar (1976-1987)
  • St. Ann Parish, Bridgeport, CT, Pastor (1987-2002)
  • St. Clement Parish, Stamford, CT, Pastor (2002)

Abuse occurred in 1980. One victim, aged 9. Allegation not determined to be credible. Deceased.

Frederick McLean

  • St. James, South Manchester, CT (1944)
  • Leave of absence (1948)
  • St. Theresa’s Parish, Trumbull, CT (1949)
  • St. Mary’s, Stamford, CT (1953)
  • St. Joseph’s, Bridgeport, CT (1954)
  • St. Roch Parish, Greenwich, CT (1959)
  • Diocese of Charleston, SC (1959-1964)

Abuse occurred in 1962. One victim, aged 17. Appears to have left ministry in 1964.

Martin Ryan

  • St. Theresa Parish, Trumbull, CT, Parochial Vicar (1976-1980)
  • St. James Parish, Stratford, CT, Parochial Vicar (1980-1981)
  • St. James Parish, Stratford, CT, Resident (1981-1982)
  • St. Francis of Assisi, Weston, CT, Residence (1982-1988)
  • St. Margaret Mary, Shelton, CT, In Residence (1988-1991)
  • St. Edward the Confessor Parish, New Fairfield, CT, Pastor (1992-2011)

Abuse occurred in 1978. One victim, aged 17. Left active ministry in 2011, but returned to active ministry.

John Sansonetti

  • St. Raphael’s Parish, Bridgeport, CT (1957-1967)
  • St. Joseph’s Parish, Danbury, CT (1967-1969)
  • St. Mary’s Parish, Greenwich, CT (1969-1972)
  • St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Bridgeport, CT, Pastor (1972-1984)
  • Leave of absence (3/26/1984)
  • Requested laicization (1987)

Abuse occurred from 1976-1977. One victim, aged 12. Leave of absence and resignation from St. Charles Parish in 1984. No withdrawal of faculties. Laicization requested in 1987. Considered AWOL. Deceased.

Matthew Skurat

  • St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish, Shelton, CT, Deacon (1992)

Abuse occurred from 1983-1991. One victim, aged 10. Resigned and faculties removed in 2003. Restored in 2004. Deceased.

Robert Valentine

  • Tagaste Monastery, Suffern, NY (1969-1970)
  • Church of Notre Dame, Manhatten (1970-1971)
  • Tagaste Monastery, Residence (1971-1972)
  • Albertus Magnus High School, Bardonia, NY, Religion Teacher (1969-1970)
  • Columbia University Teachers’ College, Student Assistant (1970-1972)
  • St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Riverside, CT (1973-1975)
  • St. Joseph Parish, S. Norwalk, CT (1975)
  • Holy Rosary Parish, Bridgeport, CT (1975-1981)
  • In Residence St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Weston, CT (1981-1982)
  • Sacred Heart Parish, Georgetown, CT (1982-1986)
  • St. Gabriel Parish, Stamford, CT, Pastor (1986-1990)
  • St. Jerome Parish, Norwalk, CT, Pastor (1990-1993)
  • St. Aloysius Pairish, New Canaan, CT, Parochial Vicar (1993)

Abuse occurred in 1984. One victim, aged 17. Absent without leave in 1999. Faculties withdrawn in 2001.

Francis Wissel

  • St. Mary Parish, Bridgeport, CT, Deacon (1977)
  • St. Anthony Parish, Bridgeport, CT, Parochial Vicar (1977-1981)
  • Blessed Sacrament Parish, Bridgeport, CT, In Residence (1981-83)
  • St. Peter Parish, Bridgeport, CT, Resident (1983-1996)
  • St. Mary Parish, Greenwich, CT, Administrator (1996-97)
  • St. Mary Parish, Greenwich, CT, Pastor (1997)

Abuse occurred in 1979. One victim, aged 12. Retired in 2014. Deceased.

All information in this report was provided by the Diocese of Bridgeport.

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