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10 Added To List Of Priests Credibly Accused Of Sexual Abuse In Bridgeport

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano
Bishop Frank J. Caggiano Photo Credit: Contributed photo

Just as the Archdiocese of Bridgeport has agreed to pay more than $3.5 million to five people who claimed that they were sexually assaulted by priests, the Diocese on Friday, updated its lists of priests accused of sexual abuse by 10.

The additions bring the total number of priests accused of sexual improprieties working in the Bridgeport at one point in their careers to 38, said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

 "It is with much regret and concern for all those who are survivors of sexual abuse that I must announce that the following ten clergy who served in the Diocese of Bridgeport have been added to our list of Credibly Accused Clergy," he wrote in a notice on Friday, March 22. 

The Bishop said the 10 include eight diocesan priests who are deceased, one retired diocesan priest who is alive and is on Permanent Administrative Leave and one Venezuelan priest who was present in the Diocese for one summer in 1991.

Those named include:

  • James A Gay, a retired priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport who served in the Diocese from 1959 to 1984 at St. Peter Parish in Bridgeport, Immaculate High School, St. Mary Parish in Bethel and St. Mary High School in Greenwich. He is currently on Permanent Administrative Leave and cannot function as a priest.
  • John Draper was a priest of the Diocese ordained in 1953 and died in 1966. 
  • William Fletcher was ordained in 1944 and died in 1988. 
  • Martin Hitchcock was ordained in 1951, retired in 1991 and died in 2014. 
  • James McCormick was ordained in 1916 and died in 1965. 
  • Bartholomew Laurello was ordained in 1946 and died in 2004. 
  • William R. Nagle was ordained in 1955 and died in 1979. It is important to note that this is not the priest of a similar name, Monsignor William Aloysius Nagle, a priest of the Diocese ordained in 1949 with a long distinguished career at many parishes, who died in 2014 after serving as pastor of St. John in Stamford from 1973 to 1998.
  • Boleslaus “Bill” Rarus was ordained in 1940 and died in 2005. 
  • Paul Spodnick was ordained in 1927 and died in 1976. 
  • Jose Daniel Alberran a diocesan priest from the Diocese of Barcelona in Venezuela spent one summer at St. Peter Parish in Bridgeport in 1991. His home Diocese of Barcelona, Venezuela has been notified regarding this allegation and our determination of a credible accusation.

In response to the sexual abuse concerns from parishioners, the Diocese will hold three listening sessions including:

  • April 3, 7:30 pm at Notre Dame High School in Fairfield;
  • April 9, 7:30 pm at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull; and
  • May 1, 6:30 pm at Immaculate High School in Danbury

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