OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
March 22, 2019
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. These clergy 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.
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 then left the Diocese and served until his retirement in 2004 from the Archdiocese of the Military in the U.S. Navy. He is accused of a single incident of sexual abuse of a 16-year old boy when he was the principal of St. Mary High School. His faculties have been removed since the allegation came forward in 2006. 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. He served at St. Theresa Parish, Trumbull, St. Mary Parish, Greenwich, St. Joseph Hospital Stamford, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Fairfield, St. Mary Parish, Ridgefield and St. Joseph Parish, Shelton. He died in New York City in 1966 at the age of 39. He is credibly accused of a single allegation of sexual abuse with an altar boy of undisclosed age in 1958. On full review in 2019, this allegation was deemed credible.
William Fletcher was ordained in 1944 and died in 1988. He served at several parishes including St. Joseph Parish, Danbury, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Fairfield, St. Margaret Mary Parish, Shelton, and spent most of his career at Sacred Heart University until his death in 1988. He is credibly accused of a single allegation with a 14-year-old girl in 1964 while serving at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Shelton.
Martin Hitchcock was ordained in 1951, retired in 1991 and died in 2014. He served at St. James Parish, Stratford, and St. Peter Parish, Danbury. He also served and was in residence while serving as Superintendent of Schools at St. Mary Parish, Bethel, St. Joseph Parish, Danbury, St. Lawrence Parish Shelton, and Notre Dame Parish in Easton. He served as the pastor of St. Mary Parish in Greenwich from 1971 to 1991, from where he retired. He is accused of two allegations dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, one of which was reported in 2018. Based on receipt of this new information, a full review of his file was conducted and the two allegations against him were deemed credible.
James McCormick was ordained in 1916 and died in 1965. He served at St. Joseph in South Norwalk from 1951 to 1954. He is accused of a soliciting two young men, one minor in 1953 and another in 1954 who was likely a minor. One of these incidents was reported to the Diocese by the police in 1953 with the police not taking any action beyond this reporting. His ministry was restricted in 1954 by Bishop Shehan. The available information on these allegations was reviewed and deemed credible in 2019.
Bartholomew Laurello was ordained in 1946 and died in 2004. He served at Holy Rosary Parish, Bridgeport, St. Catherine Parish, Riverside, St. Raphael Parish, Bridgeport and was the pastor at Our Lady of Grace in Stratford for fifteen years beginning in 1980. He is credibly accused of a single allegation of sexual abuse of a 14-year old boy when he was at St. Roch in 1965. This allegation first came forward in 2017, was investigated, reviewed, and deemed credible in 2019.
William R. Nagle was ordained in 1955 and died in 1979. He served at St. Clement, Stamford, St. Vincent Hospital, Bridgeport and the Diocesan Tribunal as Judge. He is accused of sexual abuse with a minor boy who was an altar boy that began when the boy was 13 in approximately 1971. The information was reviewed in 2019 and was deemed credible. 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. He served at a number of Diocesan parishes including Holy Name in Stamford, St. Joseph, Brookfield and St. Paul in Greenwich. There were two third party complaints in his file that lacked corroboration; however, in 2019, the Diocese received two additional allegations dating back to the 1950s and 1960s. On review, these multiple allegations were deemed credible.
Paul Spodnick was ordained in 1927 and died in 1976. He served at several parishes including St. John Nepomucene Parish, Bridgeport, St. Mary Parish, Bethel, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Bridgeport, St. Benedict in Stamford. He also ministered at St. Joseph Manor in Trumbull. He was accused of soliciting and attempting to fondle up to three teenage minor girls at undetermined dates likely between 1955 and 1970. On review in 2019, these several allegations were deemed credible.
Jose Daniel Alberran a diocesan priest from the Diocese of Barcelona in Venezuela spent one summer at St. Peter Parish in Bridgeport in 1991. He is credibly accused of sexual abuse of a 14-year old girl. He left the parish at the end of the summer and did not return. We are unable to determine his current whereabouts or whether he is still alive. On investigation, there is no verifiable evidence of his continuing ministry as a Catholic priest. His home Diocese of Barcelona, Venezuela has been notified regarding this allegation and our determination of a credible accusation.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano
View the full list of accused clerics