Thea Digiammerino

Norwich Diocese to Name Priests, Deacons Accused of Abuse

The Diocese of Norwich has announced it will release the names of priests and deacons who were "credibly accused" of sexual abuse.

The diocese said it will release names sometime near the end of January.

Both the Hartford Archdiocese and Bridgeport Diocese have also taken steps to share lists of credibly accused priests. 

In 2015, the Norwich Diocese agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a lawsuit alleging a woman was repeatedly molested by now-deceased priest Rev. Thomas Shea. Shea was accused of molestation by more than a dozen girls from the 1960s to the 1980s. He died in 2006 at age 85.

In a current case, more than 20 men are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich, alleging years of sexual abuse at the former Mount Saint John School in Deep River.

The 20 legal complaints allege abuse by a number of clergy and staff members that the men say occurred repeatedly over a period of approximately 14 years in the mid-1980s through 2000. 

In a letter sent to parishioners in August, Bishop Cote wrote,

"We in the Diocese will continue to follow an absolute zero tolerance policy toward those who committed crimes against God's children. There is no higher priority within the Diocese than the protection and spiritual welfare of our young. The Diocese of Norwich continues our longstanding commitment to the support and healing of victim-survivors of abuse and reaffirms our commitment to protect our children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm."

Several Roman Catholic bishops urged colleagues last month to take some sort of action on the clergy sex abuse crisis. A grand jury report released in August in Pennsylvania detailed decades of abuse and cover-up in six dioceses, alleging more than 1,000 children had been abused over the years by about 300 priests.

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