Archbishop Rozanski named in lawsuit

Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski recently was named in a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, by a victim of sexual abuse.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has stated that it does not respond to inquiries regarding pending litigation against another diocese. Archbishop Rozanski served as head of the Diocese of Springfield from 2014-2020. However, the archdiocese recently shared materials regarding the case that provide additional context.

A news conference was held in 2020 announcing the results of the investigation and Archbishop Rozanski’s directives following those results being made public. See bit.ly/3a7PS3x. In that news conference, Judge Peter Velis, who led the investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse by former Bishop Christopher Weldon, said that the investigation would have never taken place “but for Bishop Rozanski being troubled and plagued with the thoughts that this matter had not been resolved.”

Judge Velis also credited Archbishop Rozanski for bringing in the right people to implement a culture of change in an interview with New England Public Media. See bit.ly/3cZISHH. The Springfield Republican, the major paper for the Western Massachusetts region, also wrote an op-ed following the results of the Velis Report which credited Archbishop Rozanski for setting “in motion a path for change that is a departure from decades of the clergy acting as its own judge and jury.” See bit.ly/3p9lb2n.

Following the results of the report, Archbishop Rozanski added Bishop Weldon’s name to the list of clergy with credible accusations of child abuse, had his name removed from all places of honor, and his remains moved from an honorable position in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

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