March 08, 2005

Bishop removes Norwich pastor

Norwich Bulletin

Norwich Bulletin

NORWICH — Many parishioners at Sacred Heart Church in Norwichtown, were still stunned Monday after hearing their pastor has been removed because of sexual-abuse allegations dating back to the 1970s, before he became a priest.

The allegations against the Rev. R. Thomas McConaghy date back to 1973-75, when he was commandant of LaSalle Military Academy in Oakdale, N.Y., on Long Island.

Norwich Bishop Michael R. Cote removed McConaghy from St. John Mission Church in Fitchville, as well as Sacred Heart, a week ago and replaced him with the Rev. John White.

“My heart and prayers go out to Father Tom, but in the light of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, there was no other option,” Cote told parishioners in a letter dated Feb. 28. “The church has committed itself to creating safe environments for the protection of all young people.”

McConaghy denied the accusation in addresses to parishioners at Sacred Heart during Sunday’s Masses.

“I was stunned. It came out of nowhere,” Parish Council President Dean Bosse said. “Everybody is visibly shaken. They don’t believe it. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Posted by kshaw at March 8, 2005 07:34 AM