Voice of the Faithful, a Roman Catholic Church reform movement, is gratified the Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a superior court ruling finding the Archdiocese of Hartford “acted negligently and recklessly” in assigning a known pedophile priest as director of an elementary school where he abused Jacob Doe, the plaintiff in the case.
In the same ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court rejected the Hartford archdiocese’s argument that the 2002 extension of the state’s statute of limitations for victims to file lawsuits against their abusers was unconstitutional.
In 2012, A Waterbury Superior Court jury had found the archdiocese negligent and reckless in allowing Rev. Ivan Ferguson to work with children in 1981 as director of St. Mary’s Elementary School in Derby after Ferguson had admitted child abuse in 1979.
Dioceses have repeatedly attempted to avoid their responsibilities for protecting children from abusive priests and have covered up their wrongdoing, but this ruling is an example that at least civil courts, if not yet ecclesial courts, will no longer tolerate such actions.
Voice of the Faithful: Voice of the Faithful is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.