Norwich Diocese adds 3, removes 1 from list of priests accused of abuse

Norwich — The Diocese of Norwich on Thursday made amendments to a previously released list of priests who have had "allegations of substance" made against them regarding the sexual abuse of minors.

The diocese removed Richard J. Cardarelli, who it said appeared on the original list "in error."

"There are NO allegations of sexual abuse of a minor on file," the diocese said in an emailed statement.

The diocese added to the list three priests, who served in Norwich but who had allegations in other places. They are: George St. Jean, who left the Norwich Diocese in 1962 and died in 1982; Joseph Owens, who resided in the Norwich Diocese but was assigned to work not affiliated with the diocese; and John F. Dority, who resides in the Norwich Diocese but "has never been affiliated with the diocese in any capacity."

The diocese did not provide any information Thursday about the allegations against the three priests added to the list, or what parishes they served at.

In a letter distributed at churches in the diocese earlier this month, Bishop of Norwich Michael Cote defined an "allegation of substance" as one in which the priest has pleaded guilty or no contest in criminal court to any incident of sexual misconduct, the allegation has been investigated and "been determined to be reasonable, plausible, probable and bearing the semblance of the truth," is corroborated with other evidence or another source and/or has been acknowledged or admitted to by the accused priest

The new total of accused priests provided by the Norwich Diocese is 45.

The complete, updated list can be found online at bit.ly/NDlist.

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