March 08, 2005

Norwich Priest Resigns After Being Accused Of Assaulting Child 30 Years Ago

The Day

Day Staff Writer/Columnist, Police/Fire Reporter
Published on 3/8/2005

Norwich ––A priest who served in the Diocese of Norwich for 24 years was forced to resign in February after he was accused of sexually assaulting a child in New York 30 years ago, a spokeswoman for the diocese said Monday.

The Rev. R. Thomas McConaghy stepped down as a pastor when the diocese received a report Feb. 23 that a man accused the priest of sexually abusing him from 1973 to 1975 while the man was a student at the LaSalle Military Academy in Oakdale, N.Y., a letter from Bishop Michael R. Cote to parishioners said.

The priest, who last served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Norwichtown and the mission church of St. John in Fitchville, was a teacher at the school at the time of the incident, said Jacqueline Keller, the diocesan spokeswoman.

“This resignation must not be construed as an admission of any of the allegations against him,” Cote wrote. “Rather it should stand as an expression of his concern to the Parish and the Diocese of Norwich.”

McConaghy vehemently denied the charges during speeches to parishioners following masses Sunday and Monday, Keller said.

Posted by kshaw at March 8, 2005 05:36 PM