January 1, 1995
were somewhat isolated by living alone at 40 Comee Street, Gardner.
I was hurting emotionally being separated by the Church from my
parishioners. There was that constant l mental curing- what’s the
parishioner leaving church told me that Fr. Roberge told the
bulletin lady- Mrs. Pat Cooley that he was purchasing a paper
stirred for the rectory office. He said he wondering if she was
coming to work in the rectory Monday morning. He told her that he
planned to have her sit in front of the waster basket with this
shrewder. This gave an interesting insight of what was gong forward
in the parish rectory
January 8, 1995
Sunday bulletin (The Westminster Catholic Herald) announced
that Bishop Reilly would be visit the parish next weekend- January
15 to celebrate the Sunday Masses. The bulletin read “The Bishop has
made it clear to me that you are all welcome to meet him and to ask
him whatever you like or simply to greet him and welcome him to our
reported in the Fitchburg Sentinel Enterprise of January 14th.
Fr. Thomas Sullivan, Headmaster of St. Bernard’s High School
described how the Bishop Reilly was visiting the north county area
for the first time. St. Edward’s was first on the list.2.
January 9, 1995
Attorney Carey to find out any thing of where my case was? I did
tell him that I was hurting. I shared some other insights that I
noticed about the Diocese and fellow parishioners. The main points
that I wanted him to know that the “rumor mill” was defaming my
character especially my isolation.
January 15, 1995
Reilly visits and celebrates the two Sunday morning Mass. He meets
with parishioners in the church hall. The Sentinel & Enterprise
carried a front-page article and picture of the bishop and his
visit. The article stated that “Father Roberge said the bishop’s
visit was very meaningful to parishioners because of his pledge to
help the church deal with the absence of the Rev. Thaddeus J.
Kardas, a longtime pastor who tool respite for personal reason more
than a year ago. ‘The bishop expressed his solidarity with me
personally and the church. He will be here through this transition,”
said Father Roberge, who has since assumed duties as pastor.’”3
reception in the parish hall, Bishop Reilly “You don’t know why he
can’t come back” told Anna Richard? Mrs. Richard was taken back by
his question and approach. He continued to say to her that there is
more to this so he was not able to say because of protecting Fr.
of privacy was being trampled upon in Fitchburg, Westminster and the
area. This was primarily Msgr. Richard Collette, pastor of
Immaculate Conception parish; Fitchburg and Bob Chatrand of
Westminster were telling stories that were destructive to my
character and name. One issue that was being speared was that so
many people departed the parish while Fr. Kardas was pastor and has
returned since his departure. One would only have to check the
parish membership list concerning this situation.
Leger attended this same reception for the Bishop. He told her that
my case was “between Bishop Harrington and Fr. Kardas.” One has to
know that the Bishop is the “Sole Corporation” in legal terms. This
means that he is in totally in charge and responsible for his
respective diocese. Therefore, Fr. Kardas is his situation. The use
of the expression of “between Bishop Harrington and Fr. Kardas” is a
diversion tactic. But, this issue will come again especially with
wrote me to say that Bishop Reilly told her that “Fr. Roberge has
brought in many new parishioners. I feel that if there are any new
parishioners, they certainly are not connected.”4 This particular
point seemed to connect Msgr. Collette with the Chancery. I believe
most likely this went through Rueger to Bishop Reilly. One has to
realize that Fr. Roberge was assigned as an associate in Holy rosary
parish, Gardner. It was a know fact that a certain group followed
him from Gardner for Mass in Westminster. They were not joining St.
Edward’s as parishioners.
Leger, her husband, G. Ronald Leger, who was a parish Lay Presider
spoke with Bishop Reilly. Bishop Reilly told him, in the church hall
reception, that whatever happened between Bishop Harrington and Fr.
Kardas has to solve by the two of them. Rely said especially that “I
can’t promise that I can return Fr. Kardas back here to St.
issue on this pastoral visit by Reilly was the term “transition.”
Mrs. Connie Rivard wrote me that she was “disappointed in the way
the Bishop spoke especially when he said he was here to help with
the ‘transition.’ I’m totally confused- what does that mean.”5 This
was mentioned in the Sentinel & Enterprise: story of January
14th. She, also, told me that Bishop Reilly never
mentioned my name from the pulpit.
one of those parishioners of St. Edward’s that had a sincere
dedication. She had written and printed the weekly bulletin for over
24 years. Besides this, she did secretarial work of four days a week
for me. She did all this in a voluntary capacity. She was dedicated
to the parish and her Church.
Keena sent a letter to Bishop Reilly on January 19th. He
spoke about the Bishop’s visit, He, also, said “Whatever negative
comments you may have been told concerning Father Kardas, come from
those self-serving individuals who previous to Father Kardas’ coming
here, ran their own show in the Women’s Guild, St. Vincent de Paul,
Religious Education, et. These individuals did their own thing
without any accountability. Father Kardas brought a cohesive effort
to all these endeavors, culminating in a Mission Statement.”6
Rivard, also, wrote a two-page letter to Bishop Reilly following his
January 15th visit. This letter was an overview of where
St. Edward’s “Faith Community” was as a parish. One should know
that she had been the parish secretary- parish bulletin for over 20
years. She was very complementary towards my ministry at St.
continued to circulate from the rectory that Bishop Reilly told Fr.
Roberge that he had to go back to talk with the two other bishops.
Reilly’s visit was, according to talk, to “affirm the
Administrator.” Talk was that there was the dropping of “temporary”
for Fr. Roberge. Then, it was rumored that Bishop Reilly said this
type of case against Fr. Kardas could take a month to two years.
January 16, 1995
and another story. This came back to me through the rumor mill that
seemed to reinforce the Worcester’s Poster Boy image by the
This one had
Mrs. Percialla Valiton, secretary of the Religious Education North
County Office and parishioners of Immaculate Conception Parish,
Fitchburg. One must not forget that Msgr. Richard Collette was the
pastor. Collette told Percialla that he knew about my story two
years previous to 1993. Now the dots started getting connected
somewhat with Collette, Chatrand and Worcester.
I heard a
number of times at parish staff meetings that. There was a pastor in
Fitchburg undermining my work as pastor in Westminster. I didn’t
concentrate much on this because I was following Diocesan and Church
directives. I realize that I referred to this in this manuscript of
July 13th, 1993. I even developed a policy booklet that
gave standard guidelines for sacraments to be implemented at St.
Edward’s in conjunction with proper directives. The policy booklet
specified a procedure for all parishioners and not a “gas
station-drive through” standard.
that it was a new undertaking. I sent a copy of this policy booklet
to Bishop Harrington for his perusal. He sent me back a letter
wishing me his personal best and prayers for this undertaking. The
policy was totally orientated on the R.C.I.A. model for a “Faith
Community.” But, a certain few individual parishioners were in
contact with Msgr. Collette. They were talking to any priest they
could find to speak with. But, Collette was the one in contact with
Bob Chatrand of St. Edward’s. Chatrand’s relatives were members of
Immaculate Conception; Fitchburg but lived in Westminster. One has
to realize that Fitchburg is one town north east of Westminster.
Chatrand was a parishioner
of St. Edward’s and had 2 daughters in St. Edward’s Religious
Education program. Therefore, they would have had to follow this new
policy with their parents. He had the type of stalking personality,
weaving around groups and activities with a penetrating facial
stare. One thing that Chatrand would do is sit in church during Mass
with his arm over the back of the pew he was sitting in and giving
me a constant stare during my preaching. It was very peculiar,
strange to see say the least. Well,
Chatrand tried to become overly involved by suddenly volunteering
for parish activities. Since my arrival t St. Edward’s in 1984 until
1991, he never was involved with anything. I never asked him to
assist in anything nor did any parish staff ever recommend him to
members for parish ministry. But, I noticed he was weaving in with
another parishioner for a leadership position.
McCormick shows up in 1992 on a Saturday afternoon with her daughter
asking if I would give her daughter First Communion.
frame of two year, which Msgr. Collette said he knew about my
situation, became interesting. McCormick visits St. Edward’s, I was
appointed by Bishop Harrington to be on the Diocesan Expansion Fund
(DEF) which is the financial loan commission, One has to connect
that once a month, I had to attend this meeting in the Chancery.
This was where Bishop Rueger did his sniffing of my breath before
meetings. I know think more than ever that Collette was talking to
Bishop Harrington from stories of Chatrand that he must have heard
from McCormick. McCormick was working with Chatrand at GE,
Fitchburg. The connecting of dots was becoming much clearer picture
about my ministry and me.
the Carol McCormick request to her pastor in Athol, Massachusetts.
She lived with her daughter in Athol. When she told me her story, I
explained that I didn’t have jurisdiction to do such a ceremony.
But, I told her that I would speak with her priest that following
Monday at an area clergy meeting. I asked her to call the rectory in
Athol and the priest would assist her for her daughter’s First
aspect had me wondering about was that Chatrand was watching me with
the McCormick situation. I did not have church jurisdiction. The
policy I had to reinforce was St. Edward’s parish was for residence
of Westminster. St. Edwards was a territorial parish, meaning that
it existed for residents of Westminster.
One must not
forget that I tried to assist with McCormick’s request. Then,
almost, two years after this I get my notorious phone call from
Rueger to report to his office on March 3rd of 1993. Then
thinking back how many times at meetings or otherwise anywhere
Rueger meet me by attempting to get in my face- physically I,
always, was a uncomfortable experience. Also, one must not forget
that Rueger was in residence at St. George’s, Worcester at this time
of McCormick and Weber. Then, there was Msgr. Francis Manning who
was pastor of St. George Parish. Now, Rueger was the Auxiliary
Bishop of the Worcester Diocese.
Therefore, Msgr. Collette to
say to Valatin that he knew this story about me for 2 years had
implications otherwise. The priest of the diocese knew that he was
‘buddy” of Bishop Harrington. He had at tone time a chancery staff
positions before becoming a pastor. He was know as a “clergy
gossiped”. Yet, it was an unwritten rule in the priesthood that one
pastor does not undermine another pastor at their respective
this was rumor that a Donald Leger of Westminster who worked at GE
in an executive position. He was telling people that “there were two
women claiming abuse by Fr. Kardas and that Fr. Kardas “failed” his
test.” What “test.” When Donald Leger told this rumor to G. Ronald
Leger of the parish team, G. Ronald told his wife that “His (Fr.
Kardas) life is ruined.” I realized this when I departed the
Chancery Building on March 3, 1993 because the allegations were
baseless and faceless.
So, all of
the sniffing, stalking by Rueger and the Worcester Chancery Gang
showed me more so that I was being made “Worcester’s Poster Boy.”
January 23, 1995
wrote a letter to Bishop Reilly after his visit. Roberge wrote, “the
past year though difficult has had its reward as well. As you say,
this is a very affirming community with some great possibilities in
the time ahead. I look forward t the future. Please advise me as how
to proceed with Fr. Kardas’ personal effects, I am open to any and
A letter was
sent me by Bishop Rueger s on February 13th saying “I
think it wise, Ted, that you plan to visit with Bishop Reilly, our
new Bishop soon. Please do not hesitate to call.” He wrote a note on
the button of this letter saying “If you could move a few thins Ted
let me know when you do and I’ll send you a check to house them.”9
Fr. Lynch, my Canon Lawyer, emphatically told me to move nothing out
of the rectory. He told me that I was still the Canonical Pastor.
January 24, 1995
Bishop was doing other things. The St. Joseph, Worcester issue was
also hp front. The Worcester Telegram Gazette carried a story
this day of “New bishop mulls St. Joseph’s options: Hopes are raised
about reopening.”10 It seemed by what I was hearing that my
particulars were going the opposite direction from hope.
January 25, 1995
Carey received a letter from Attorney Michael P. Flammia of Eckert
Seamann Cherin & Mellott concerning my case. Flammia wrote, “We will
need a Tolling Agreement if there is to be a continuing period of
informal discovery and discussions with respect to this case.”11
There was a
separate Tolling Agreement for Father Thaddeus Kardas and Carol
McCormick. Another tolling agreement was enclosed for Father
Thaddeus Kardas and Abbey Weber.12
January 27, 1995
I wrote Fr.
Tom Lynch about a clarification of my title as pastor as being a
“Permanent Pastor.” Lynch commented to me that we should handle my
case through the local Ordinary (Bishop Harrington). This, he
thought, was the best route to go.
this question because it had significance in Canon Law. It basically
said that my bishop could not transfer me without my explicit
permission. Therefore, it carried significant status in the overall
pastoral ministry. It was something that had other priest is wide
eyed when it was talked about. It was like an unwritten rule that
was a secret code.
when I raised this issue with the Diocesan Canon Layer, Fr. Stephen
Pedone, he reacted with a red face of telling me that “it means
nothing for you.” Oh? The silence was deafening. One reason that I
knew that anything against me automatically had to be sent and dealt
with in the Vatican. I never was able to get anyone to do anything
for me. What I am sorry with now is that I didn’t send a personal
letter to the Prefect Cardinal of Clergy in Rome.
How was I
able to get a fair hearing of anything with what I knew about Bishop
Harrington’s auto accident in 1993?
I never did
get this issue on the table in my allegations case for my defense or
anything. It was a constant “guilty till proven innocent” syndrome.
January 28, 1995
Richard wrote Bishop Reilly about his recent visit on January 15th
to St. Edward’s. She questioned why the people of St. Edward’s were
not getting any their questions answered by his office. She
described the overall situation of St. Edwards’ and its achievements
during my Pastorship. She wrote “The, on day, he was gone and we
never saw him again.”
wrote “Bishop Rueger came in January of 1994 and told us he would
drop in for healing time ‘in a few weeks’ as if he was scheduling a
haircut at the barber. It is these sort of insensitive remarks that
make us feel we do no matter to the diocese of Worcester. Even
worse, they make us feel Father Kardas does not matter to anyone
heard or done with anything by the Bishop or anyone else.
January 31, 1995
Carey sent me copies of correspondence from Weber and McCormick’s
attorney. He wrote, “Please give me a call to discuss the
ramifications of this request (Tolling Agreement). There are, as you
might suspect, arguments on both sides of the issue of whether we
should agree to a tolling of the statue of limitations.”15
This was all
handled by Carey with Attorney Reardon as the diocesan lawyer. The
machine continued to grind away.
February 1, 1995
my Canon Lawyer, wrote Bishop Reilly concerning my particulars.
Lynch wrote “I want to concentrate on only one (question) from our
own church law: Is forced absence from assigned ministry) over a
year) a just and fair action in this case? Does it
amount to a de facto penalty disallowed by the law?” He continued in
this letter “It would be different if the accusers had solid proof,
if Ted’s record for the past twenty years were spotty and
suspicious, if he were still an active alcoholic and if the
Institute (IOL) had found him guilty of abuse or emotionally
directed toward abuse. None of these things are true.”16
did line up facts, which were finally being stated about me.
February 3, 1995
reading the local newspaper, which had a short article on Dee Myers,
former press secretary for President Clinton. She was speaking at
the University of Nevada where she recited what she sees as the
rules of the trade: “No. 1: Be first rather than right. No. 2: Never
let the facts stand in the way of a good story. No. 3: When in
doubt, analyze and No. 4: Good news is no news, so create
this because a number o times my friends and others have been
watching the local paper if there was any story about my case. The
first thing I was doing in the early morning was go and find a copy
of The Worcester Telegram & Gazette and wonder if I would see
tried to formulate a response if a reporter approach or called me. A
number of people constantly asking me if any news had me nervous
whenever my phone or doorbell rang. I developed some responses for
a reporter, as my particulars were an administrative issue and
please respect my privacy. If the reporter continued I would have
directed any the questions to my civil lawyer- Attorney Carey.
February 5, 1995
Margaret Peltola wrote Bishop Reilly. She wrote “Father Kardas
stands out as one of the most dedicated, conscientious, spiritual
and learned priests that I have know (Professed Religious Life for
over twenty years) His performance in his priestly ministry should
be appliquéd. The question about why he not with us as our pastor is
haunting. His life is about ministering to God’s people through his
ordination. In his ministry at Saint Edward’s Parish, he was the
catalyst in forming a faith community. He challenged every day
living or us to witness to our faith in Christ in. Why is it taking
so long to resolve this matter?”18
day, I read an article in the local Worcester newspaper of “Bishop’s
(Reilly) tour elicits tears from faithful.” This article explained
how Bishop Reilly visited St. Joseph’s Church “doors were opened for
the first time in more than a year.”19
about this because I was observing Bishop Reilly style of ministry.
I was not hearing or being contacted by no one. Therefore, anything
happening in the diocese, I was reading and watching.
I was feeling like the
Worcester Diocese on a certain shelf placed me and anyone was able
to take a shot at me. Was I being set-up for judgment by my peers
and those in authority? What about the issue of justice and my
desiring a legal judgment? What did I do? Questions that I had not
been able to bring forth were the prevailing atmosphere.
There was so
much leakage about my case by the Worcester Chancery, fellow
“brother” priest on the Priest Personal Board and laity. Leakage was
a serious problem of gossip in the Worcester Diocese with Bishop
Harrington. I used to cringe when I would hear other priest talking
about issue that was issues of professional competency. It was now
becoming practically impossible to go anywhere in the area and
wonder what to respond if I meet anyone that knew me.
was the nagging question of my 25th Anniversary of
priestly ordination that was to be celebrated during May of this
February 9, 1995
looking forward for closure. I was anxious to return to my
Pastorship at St. Edward’s. But, I noticed that Fr. Picclomini
hadn’t sent me any Mass stipends since October 23rd.
Neither was I was the regular monthly packet that all priest
received from the Worcester Chancery since September.
that Fr. Roberge was making permanent moves at St. Edward’s with
February 14, 1995
Mrs. Gail A.
Robinson wrote Bishop Reilly a letter. She wrote “He was getting
everyone involved in Our Church and to be proud of her. To fight for
her if necessary. My husband said Sunday, they weren’t even singing
any more. He said I don’t think they (parishioners) were praying
either. As the voices weren’t there. What are we dong to ourselves?
Are we asleep in the pews? We want answer. We need an answer. Help
us. We are good people, why are we the victims?”
some of the frustration being felt by parishioners and myself.
The last few
times I spoke with Bishop Rueger was a similar frustration. I asked
Rueger twice for an increase in my Room and Board allotment. He
responded that Fr. Picclomini was sending me Mass stipends. Then he
did his regular double talk and changes the subject with me. Nothing
was changed with my monthly check. It was, actually, ¼ of what I was
receiving in my regular monthly salary. Besides this I was not
receiving any side benefits that were part of the job. (Retreat
money, study week expenses, Wedding or funeral stipends etc.)
February 16, 1995 issue of Origins: CNS Documentary Service,
there was printed the text of Bishop Gregory entitled “Pastoral
Discusses Clerical Sexual Abuse.”21 I read here how any priest that
is on administrative leave continues to receive his salary. This was
not true in my case. I feel that everyone thinks I’m getting a free
ride. I really believe many think I’m a welfare case. The areas I
lived in and ministered have narrow minds on such issues.
February 22, 1995
my monthly meeting in Hartford with Fr. Keily, then Dr. Zeman. Dr.
Zeman said to me when I was leaving his appointment “Keep on
February 23, 1995
called me to see how I was doing and if anything had happened. My
answer was “No!”
I took this
opportunity to speak to him about my salary and previous comments of
Bishop Rueger in a couple of phone conversations. I said that I
would write him a letter with a number of questions and facts that
he should have know.
In my letter
to him, I submitted a salary increment statement of the Diocese of
Worcester. I would be ordained 25 years on the May 23rd.
Therefore this would have put me in another pay scale of increment.
In addition, I would have been pastor for 10 years. I concluded that
this was my 25th Ordination Day in May. This was a
significant time in my life that Fr. Lynch would understand as an
ordained priest and celebrate with one’s parishionrs.22
rumor circulating St. Edward’s by John Cappallini. He was telling
people that my case involved “heavy litigation.” Cappallini was a
person that had an ego issue. He used to circle groups to get any
story and embellish them.
It seemed that Rueger, with
another pries, of the diocese priest personal board were saying that
I was sent away because of a drinking problem. In addition, they
were saying that a parishioner at St. Edward’s had a claim against
me to me to another parish or they would go public. This was the
same story that Bishop Rueger was telling Jack Keena in the Chancery
in October of 1993.
stories and rumors may be compared to shaking a bag of feathers from
a second floor window. You never get all the fathers back into the
bag. This is compared to a person’s good name, scandal begins and
that person’s reputation is ruined.
February 25, 1995
are always more important most times than answers. So be it: What
happened to St. Edward’s Mission statement and the pastoral
Initiation Theology of a faith community? It just disappointed. Is a
priest able to come in and neglect what a faith community
established for own personal philosophy?
I had been
told to stop apologizing for the Diocese. The Diocese has the best
of everything. I’m the sacrificial lamb. (Worcester’s Poster Boy)
There was another statement was shared that all this feels like the
last nail in the coffin.
Carey spoke with me by phone. He wondered how Bishop Rueger like it
no being implicated? He said that Fr. Lynch said this is the perfect
case against the Diocese for me. Then, he commented that with my
“evaluation and result” that OJ Simpson didn’t have an evaluation.
February 28, 1995
Michael P. Flammia wrote Attorney Carey Re: Carol McCormick and Abby
Marshall Weber v. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester. A
Corporation Sole, Thaddeus Kardas and George E. Rueger; Worcester
Superior Court Civil Action No. 95-0452. 23
Carey received this letter on March 1, 1995. Whenever I received a
copy of this, I realized it was baseless and faceless.
Rueger was named in this suit with me. I realized things were going
to really get interesting
I read in
this letter of February 28th letter “Carol makes several
demands for compensation for her injuries, which are causally
related to the abuse perpetrated by Fr. Kardas and the Diocese’s
negligence. First, Carol insist that Fr. Kardas refrain from having
any inexact with children until he has sought the appropriate
medical attention for his abusive proclivities. Second, Carol is
willing to resolve all of her claims for the sum of $500,000, an
amount well within the range of settlements for this type of
case.”24 A similar amount of $500,000 was demanded by Weber.
this as baseless and faceless, I read how she became aware of
“abuse” from watching a TV program in March of 1993. I realized that
she visited me with her daughter at St. Edward’s Rectory in June of
1992. This visit, on her part was to ask if I would have given her
daughter First Communion. But, McCormick, according to this letter
of February 28th, was receiving therapy due to my
received this letter, there was enclosed a formal court “complain
and demand for jury trail” statement that included “thirteen counts”
for a civil action complaint and demand for jury action.25
reading these count documents, I realized that they were baseless
morning’s Worcester Telegram & Gazette printed “2 women
allege priest abused them” on page 2 by Kathleen A. Shaw. The
article reported that a suit was filed in Worcester Superior Court
against me “alleging he (Kardas) sexually abused them more than 20
years ago when they were parishioners of St. George’s Church.” 26
this, Mrs. Kathy Jordon sent me a letter saying, “We are here for
you- we are your friends- please let us help you. Why are you trying
to do this alone? Don’t shut us out of a time when you need us most.
You've done so much for all of us- as Christians; it is our turn to
do for you- we want to-please contact us so we can you.
I-we-all so upset over this- that you’ve been going it alone, that
the joke of a Diocese is willing to hang you out to dry to save
Bishop R’s butt- the sickening hypocrisy is enough to gag on. You’re
not protecting us by leaving us out- just admit your have friends
who care and let us help you…and your parents. We’re praying for you
all the time. - Kathy Jordon.”27 Again, one has to realize that this
Mrs. Jordon acted as a committee of one who loosely used “us” and
“all” with very shallow bases. I never responded to this or her at
any time. Jordon had a code name with the parish staff- The Actress.
I spoke only
with my team- Fr. Lynch, Attorney Carey, Dr. Zeman, Fr. Kiely
concerning my specifics. Period. I was very consciousness that I
would not able to be accused of undermining the Bishop. Many
different stories as rumors were circulating the clergy and lay
people of the diocese.
March 3, 1995
This day had
the local newspaper carry the story about me. I found out about this
article when I went to the store to get the morning paper. I was
back in my place and opened the paper and there it was.
Fitchburg Sentinel had “Women charge priest with abuse” on page
2. 28 The Gardner News wrote AP story “Former Local Priest
Sued on Sex Charges,” on page 1. 29 The Catholic Free Press
(Worcester Diocesan Newspaper) wrote “Women file suit against
priest, diocese,” on page 9. 30
national level, The National Catholic Reporter carried two
articles on this day (March3, 1995). They were written by Arthur
Jones (NCR Staff) entitled “Sexual abuse by priests: the unrelenting
crisis,” and “As scandal keeps growing, who is accountable?”31
March 5, 1995
It was only
a few days after the March 2nd article that I received my first
letter of support. Mrs. Alice (Gusha) Perscio of 966 Bridle Path
Rd., Allentown, PA 18103 wrote it to me.
that she wanted to testify against both McCormick and Weber in court
on my behalf. Alice was a member of St. George’s Parish, Worcester
during the time frame the two girls were using against me. She
wanted to tell what she observed and knew about these two girls. At
that time, Alice lived in the same neighborhood as McCormick and
Weber. They lived in the town of Holden, which was part of St.
George’s Parish. She was a member of the St. George’s Catholic Youth
Group. She was part of the activities that McCormick and Weber were
in attendance and knowing them personally. She wanted her voice to
be added about these two girls on my behalf. I mentioned this to my
civil and canonical lawyer. But, it was too no avail. I never did
get such witnesses or any into my records or story besides
Worcester’ Chancery Gang.
Westminster rumor mill was grinding especially by Mrs. Sandy
Normandin. She was telling people that the newspaper articles- same
story- was “not enough fuel in this story.” G. Ronald Leger asked me
“: Are you still gong to be allowed to be a priest?”
I found out
that the Diocese called Fr. Roberge on Wednesday evening before the
WTG article of Thursday (3/2/95). The story was the Chancery
wanted Roberge to be aware that this article was being printed in
the next morning’s paper. No one called to inform me.
the story that Fr. Roberge was telling that I refused to meet with
Bishop Reilly. He was saying that Bishop Reilly told him that the
Bishop had spoken with me on the phone and I was refusing to meet
with him. I never called or received a call from Bishop Reilly.
Roberge, also, was telling parishioners that the Bishop told him to
“see the people of St. Edward’s through this.” He was telling some
people in North County and certain parish groups that his “position
was secure” at St. Edward’s Then he said that Bishop Reilly told him
that it may take between a month to two years.
not meeting of any groups taking place at St. Edward’s. Definitely
there was no Parish Council or any ministry type of meetings. But,
Pre-Cana (Marriage Preparation), Boy Scouts and other groups from
outside the parish were allowed to meet by Roberge. Wedding was
being celebrated for couple that no one from Westminster even knew.
The Music Director felt as though she was playing for Las Vegas
ministers were doing different roles without any training or formal
installation. Stanley Skamarych, who was a lector, was now doing
the Communion cup and other times distributing the Eucharist. .
Skamarych was all over the sanctuary during Sunday Mass. He had no
formal training. He just self-imposed himself. Many parishioners
were standing back and watching in amazement of what was going on in
the parish by a few people.
March 6, 1995
called me. I sent him copies of the newspaper article concerning my
story. He told me that he was sorry to read that my situation had
gone this way. He wanted me to keep in touch.
March 5, 1993
Coleman wrote me a letter that helped me keep things in perspective.
She wrote “Just a few lines to let you know that I saw the newspaper
story this week. I can remember years ago giving rides to kids from
school-without ever giving it a second thought. (Donna was a
schoolteacher) If I were still teaching today, I wouldn’t even dream
of doing such a thing. People have become “street-wise” instead of
more intelligent. It seems that they learn ‘the angles’ so to speak.
I know that you have worked very hard all these years and have done
a lot of good things for people. None of that good can be undone by
March 6, 1995
Worcester Telegram carried an article “Recovered memory cases
under attack in NH Legislature” by the Associated Press. The article
from Concord, N.H. states “The theory that people can repress
memories of childhood sexual abuse, the dig them up years later is
on trial in New Hampshire.” I was asking this question time and time
again with my legal team.33
letter I refer to written by Mrs. Gail Robinson to Bishop Reilly.
She wrote “We have been writing to this office concerning our
missing pastor for two year. Asking questions and getting the same
answers, we can not help presently. In your letter from the pulpit
that a lot of people were asking questions and that the Diocese
couldn’t give answers. We know that he would never leave his faith
community without a just cause. And that he would not of abandoned
us for his own personal reasons Let us all pray for a quick
solution. We have all suffered enough by his absence. He always
ended his homily with, ‘The challenge is now.’ Yes, it is.”34 This
was the first that I heard about a letter being read from the pulpit
at St. Edwards from Bishop Reilly.
March 7, 1995
copies of three letters that Attorney Carey wrote. One letter was to
Attorney Flammia, the second letter was to Mr. Docnal Amback of The
Travelers Insurance Companies, and the third was to a Mr. Craig
Carver, Litigation Claims Unit of Royal Insurance Company of
Syracuse, NY. Attorney Carey wrote “On behalf of Reverend Kardas, I
hereby make demand that The Travelers Insurance Companies/ Royal
Insurance Company provide Reverend Kardas with a defense in these
matters, and indemnify him from any and all damages awarded as a
result of liability found against him interest, costs, attorneys
fees, and any other expenses incurred as a result of or related to
the refereed claims.”35
March 8, 1995
advised by Fr. Lynch to write Msgr. Tinsley of the Diocese Finance
Office concerning legal fees. I had to write “I have no money and I
have been living hand-to-mouth. I am in need.”36
March 9, 1995
notes were flowing into my mailbox suddenly; I have a note from Fr.
Picclomini, Vicar for Clergy in the Diocese saying “Dear Ted,
Greetings of hope to you in the Lord Jesus! I hold you ever so
deeply in my prayers, Teddy. We walk this very difficult journey
with you, our brother. Peace-in Christ- peace. Rocco.”37 One has
to realize it had been a long it has been since I heard from
March 10, 1995
and in large print on top of The Catholic Free Press was
“Bishop Reilly supports Bishop Rueger on suit.” The article began
“Bishop Reilly deplores the attempt to associate Bishop Rueger with
the recent case involving Rev. Thaddeus Kardas, Rev. F. Stephen
Pedone, diocesan Vicar General and Vicar for Canonical Affairs said
yesterday.” The article continued to print Bishop Reilly’s letter
that was read from the pulpit at St. Edward’s last weekend Masses.
The letter had 12 paragraphs. My eyes were socked to read the
personal and confidential material concerning me that Bishop Reilly
stated in his letter.37 The idea of “Worcester’s Poster Boy” was
becoming a predominate daily thought.
Lynch called. He said that Diocese “gave out a good and fair
statement.” He had a question if the docs were going to pick-up my
fees? He said, “it was only fair that they do!”
March 14, 1995
I received a
note from Msgr. Tinsley which read “Dear Ted, I received your note
with reference to your legal fees. I have given it to Bishop Reilly.
As soon as I have an answer, I shall be in contact with you. These
are difficult days for you. Be assured of our concern and prayers.
Sincerely, Ed Tinsley.”38 I was following proper procedure in the
different thoughts came to my mind during those last few days. I
recalled being told “This is the last door you have to go through.”
The other thought was “It’s always the darkest just before the
March 17, 1995
a note from Rueger. It said “Ted, Just a note-rough times I know- We
pray for each other- But I want you to know I never said your were
off- maybe unique- enthusiastic but I never said off- God bless +
comment from Rueger about me being “odd’ was written in the The
Worcester Telegram & Gazette article of 3/2/95 concerning me.
write me. This should have been addressed to the proper authorities
and editor of The Worcester Telegram & Gazette. It never was
March 16, 1995
wrote a letter to Bishop Rueger concerning my request of some months
ago for a financial supplement for fo0d and housing. Lynch addressed
two points. First, “the Worcester salary scale adds $25.00 every
five years of longevity. Ted has never gotten this since he was
excluded from parish life. Secondly, your letter suggests that Ted
should use some of the transportation portion of his paycheck for
housing. Under what rational? Do you allow money to be spent for
food, housing, heat and cooling, etc. without asking any recompense
from priests living in parishes? Of course you do. And we should
keep clearly in mind that if Ted Kardas is no t living and working
in a rector, that is the choice of the diocese, not the choice of
Ted. If you are excluding him from rectory life for what you feel
are good reasons, then you have to pay legitimate expenses.”40 This
is the type of games Rueger and the diocese were dong to me.
The same day
John F. Keena Jr. wrote Bishop Reilly. He said how “appalled at the
lack of support for Father Kardas in the face of these allegations.
Is he of not concern? The Diocese appears to have abandoned Father
Kardas as you would a leper!”41
March 17, 1995
But, then we
get from The Catholic Free Press. This day, an “Editor’s
Note.” The editor, Gerard E. Goggins, wrote “Time to cry ‘foul.’” In
his editorial he wrote “Sometimes it’s important to cry ‘foul.’ If
we don’t we are being silent in the face of a lie. Such is the case
right now in the Diocese of Worcester. A slander has been
perpetrated which we cannot in conscience let pass unanswered. The
mane who has been attacked without cause is Bishop Rueger. And the
reason that he has been attacked is purely and simply because he is
a bishop. “Then Goggins wrote, “Father Kardas has vehemently denied
the allegations. He has voluntarily undergone psychological
evaluations, which gave no indication that he would commit the
actions of which he stands accused. Bishop Rueger is one of the good
guys. He is honored, admired and loved by those who know him. The
gratuitous swipe at him is simply that. It’s a cheap shot at a man
who has given an exemplary life of service to the Church.”42
one statement concerning me, nothing else was said directed towards
my character as was stated about Rueger.
In this same
issue was a Letter-to-the –Editor from Rev. Francis A. Roberge. He
wrote how the secular press had “the courtesy to call and say they
would run the story. The Free Press did not. Having sent stories in
before and been told we “missed the deadline,” it surprised me to
see that story appear since it only broke on Thursday. If you, the
Editor made the decision to run the Telegram story, I for one would
like to know why.”43 More things were happening behind the scene
with media and others than obviously I was aware off concerning my
March 19, 1995
contemplating today to release to the press the February 1st
letter Fr. Lynch wrote concerning my particulars to Bishop Reilly. I
did not. But, I was not sure what to do next Obviously; I had to
consult my ‘team.”
March 22, 1995
circulating today at St. Edward’s had Fr. Roberge telling people
that Bishop Reilly saying that he “was here. He will be staying at
St. Edward’s.” This had a number of parishioners open their eyes
with unbelief. Roberge was obviously paying head games on
March 20, 1995
The swirl of
activities of late continued with somewhat of a surprise. I received
a letter for Bishop Reilly congratulating and inviting me to
concelebrate with him the Mass of Holy Chrism at St. Paul’s
Cathedral on April 6th. This was to commemorate 25 of my
priestly ordination The Bishop also invited me to join him for
dinner prior to the Mass at his home on 2 High Ridge Road.
first reaction was that I would not attend because of the way the
Diocese was handling my particulars with Rueger and the Chancery
I wrote a
letter to Bishop Reilly saying that I would not be attending. I
wrote “This is a very sad time for me. I was looking forward to this
happy occasion. The priesthood is my life and I pray this situation
may be resolved soon and I may be reinstated to the ministry that I
love so much.”45
time I spoke with Lynch, he told me “You really blew it big, Ted!”
After speaking with him, I reconsidered and called the Bishop’s
Office that I would attend.
late afternoon, Attorney Carey called me. He said that my case is
going to be a long process. Unless the Diocese settled it, he said,
it would go the whole long legal process.
March 21, 1995
I received a
note from Rueger concerning my monthly check. He said that he was
adding only $25 to my salary and $200 for Board.46 This is a
response to Fr. Lynch’s letter concerning my salary of March 16,
1995. It was only ¼ of what I was receiving when I was at the
parish. Guilty till proven innocent syndrome on behalf of the
April 6, 1995
arrived at the Bishop’s Residence on 2 High Ridge Road, Worcester
for jubilarian Dinner, Rueger greeted me in the hallway by saying
that they have some Diet Coke available. They were serving drink. I
said “Thanks, George!” He had that style with his big grin of
putting you in your place technique.
Chrism Mass, Bishop Reilly introduced me as Pastor of St. Edward the
Confessor, Westminster, with a quick comment of looking so young.
Everyone laughed. I felt good at this celebration. One should not
forget that it has been almost two years since I seen any “brother”
priest or been in public.
stood, Bishop Harrington was seated to my left in the sanctuary
area. Harrington turned his whole body around in his seat to look at
me with a facial expression that was so derogatory. I kept my
posture directed towards Reilly in the Presider’s Chair. But, I was
watching Harrington’ stare at me in the corner of my eye.
A few of my
classmates that I had an opportunity to speak with for a few moments
shared in conversations. Fr. Pete Inzarillo, who had also been
alleged, spoke with me by saying, “we have to counter suit those
supposed victims.” He, then, said that he wanted me to return his
phone calls this time around. No time did I get a call from him?
Pete did say that we’re going to get the class to go to a show and
dinner with priest classmates in Boston. What was that all about? A
couple other classmates asked me for my address. I answered that I
am in the telephone book.
By the way, the dinner was
“lamb.” This was not my favorite. But, it was a classy meal.
I had an
opportunity to speak with Bishop Reilly in the hallway for about 3
minutes. What was strange was that every one else (priest) scattered
so we had privacy. The Bishop said that he “was concerned that the
girls would go public.” The girls went public the following day.
Reilly said he did not understand what was going on in my case.
Then, he asked, “How are you doing inside yourself?” I answered that
I have a good team in Dr. Zeman, Fr. Lynch, Fr. Kiely and Attorney
Carey. He responded that Dr. Zeman was “an excellent Doctor! We’re
going to fight this.” Also said that he doesn’t know where situation
is a t present. He said “Enough, enough! We need courage. We are not
just going to pay people off.” He, then, said that when he visited
the parish and that people were asking about me in January. Then he
surprised me when he said, “You won’t have a 25th. But
you will celebrate your 40th.”
the story circulated by Fr. Roberge in St. Edward’s Rectory that
Bishop Reilly told him that when the Bishop first came to the
diocese, he called me. The rumor was that I had refused to see him
up to that point. Roberge was telling others that I “absolutely
refused to come in.” This never happened. There were no phone calls
or letters sent to me by Bishop Reilly or any one from the Chancery.
It was a lie on Roberge’s part.
Chrism Mass were nine parishioners from St. Edward’s. They made it a
point to thank the Bishop for having me at this celebration. We
spoke for a long period of time inside the Cathedral. The eyes of
the Chancery Gang did see us laughing and having that long
conversation. The lights were being put out for us to break-up our
actually a Kodak moment at this Mass. This was when Bishop
Harrington and myself were giving out Communion in the front part of
the Cathedral. What happened was I was assigned for the Communion
Cup? Bishop Harrington was also assigned to the same station. The
Master of Ceremonies gave me the Cup. I was waiting for the main
celebrant (Bishop Reilly) to start going forward. It was proper
liturgical ethic to always have the main celebrant lead any and all
actions. Bishop Harrington was standing behind me. I heard
Harrington say, “Let’s get going. Ted!” Bishop Reilly was still
waiting for the rest of the priest to receive their respective Cups.
Harrington gave a shove from behind me to get moving. Actually, the
push was that hard that I spilled some of the wine from the cup on
the carpet. I didn’t say anything. But, I did give Harrington a deep
look. But, the Kodak moment was seeing Harrington stationed next to
me or if you would like me next to him.
April 19, 1995
months of March and April I was writing letter to Msgr. Tinsley,
Bishop Reilly concerning the need of financial assistance for my
legal fees. It wasn’t until April 19th that Bishop Rueger
wrote me concerning this matter. He wrote, “We thought it would be
wise for you to borrow up to a certain point from the Diocese for
the lawyers’ fee. When everything is settled then you could repay
the Diocese over a period of time.”47 The next day I received my
statement for legal services until March 31, 1995 from Attorney
Carey. The bill totaled $7,949.00. The specifics were interesting
and eye-opening. One example was for Carey to attend a meeting in
Hartford at Fr. Lynch’s rectory with myself. The time Carey charged
for was 3.70 hrs. @ $250.00/hr. This meeting cost me $929.00. Carey
was charging $250.00 per/hr. Telephone calls, reading
correspondence, conferences and all matter were explained in this
billing.48 What I was able to find out was that this $250.00 per
hour was the low end of what the going rate for attorney’s at this
time. The going rate per hour was much higher in cases as mine.
Carey wrote me concerning the fee situation. He said, ”In giving
this some thought, the Diocese’s offer is probably caused more by
legal concerns than its inclination to be cheap. That is, it has no
doubt been advised that the greater distance it can leave between it
and you, the better. On the other hand, they know they cannot leave
you in the cold. Hence, rather than agree to pickup your fees and
thereby subjecting itself to the liability you may have), it has
decided to lend you money for your fees. It would not be the least
bit surprising to learn that the Diocese has every intention to
forgive any debt should the case be won or settled favorably.”49
Again, I must state that the
Diocese gave me a loan for my legal fees for repayment in full.
May 5, 1995
The issue of
my 25th Silver Anniversary of Ordination celebration was
issue during this time. John (Jack) Keena and G. Ronald Leger were
attempting to meet with the Bishop concerning this issue.
Jack Keena and told him of my plans for my 25th
celebration. Keena wrote Bishop Reilly that Fr. Kardas was “looking
forward to a positive resolution of his situation, and further that
he, personally would like to be involved in preparing a proper
celebration honoring the 25th anniversary of his
May 18, 1995
Joanne L. Goulka, representing the Diocese filled a Motion to
Dismiss of Defendants The Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester and
George A. Rueger. What was interesting was how fast this was
submitted by diocesan lawyers.51
May 23, 1995
This was my
25th Anniversary day. I struggled with different
emotional factors this day. I did celebrate my Mass of Thanksgiving
in my room in private and prayers for all the good people that I
have met in my ministry.
One note I
received from a friend stated “Tough times never last. Tough people
do!” But, I reflected how my Seminary classmate, Fr. Joseph
Sredzinski of the Dicoese of Grensburg Diocese in PA. Sredzinski
sent me an announcement of his 25th Ordination
celebration. But, there was no invitation or anything else. It was
his way of being in my face attitude. I prayed for him in my Mass of
Thanksgiving for his health and ministry.
that the Diocese was operating by stressing you are not allowed to
lie, but expect plenty of omissions, misdirection's, exaggerations,
unjustified opinions, lost documents, unclear explanations, gray
areas and tactical ignorance.
June 5, 1995
When I spoke
with Fr. Lynch, I mentioned again that problem of the room and board
issue. I wondered if Bishop Rueger was able to live on $50 a week?
Did he know what a gallon of milk or what a load of bread cost at
that time? This is not even mention regular housing.
I felt that
the Diocese was holding me like a kite.
the issue of hierarchical (Bishop’s) abuse. There was a disregard of
any of my rights as many more issues. Bishop Rueger supposedly told
Fr. Roberge that I wanted to return as Pastor and “there isn’t much
they can do about it.” Therefore, it was a punitive punishment by
the Worcester Diocese against me. Fr. Lynch that my case was
violating a sense of decency and offends any concept of ministry. He
said, “enough is enough.” He also added that there is a sense of
betrayal, which stems from a deep-rooted love of the church and a
high level of commitment to it by certain clerics. He complemented
me that through my actions; I have recovered and have went on to
live a responsible, productive and useful life. What he was
referring towards was how I addressed my alcoholism and contributed
to the Church many year of productive ministry.
the violation my civil and canonical right. My bishop told me that I
was guilty till proven innocent. The Diocese at a defamation of
character did confidentiality and leakage of information, which was
distressing to my personhood. Defamatory remarks were “published”
against me. There were pulpit statements made by a number of clerics
at St. Edwards. I was “warehoused” as a priest.
I faced a
predisposition situation by the Worcester Diocese. It was
tormenting, undermining by lip service, silence. I became a victim.
Through all of this, I
recovered and have gone on to live a responsible, productive and
useful life in my “cave.”
June 11, 1995
This was the
day that I was planning to celebrate my 25th Ordination
Anniversary at St. Edward’s Faith Community. It never happened.
There were a
number of priests on “Administrative Leave” that celebrated their
anniversaries. I knew about Fr. Pete Inzarrello and Msgr. Batistta.
was pastor of St. Anthony’s, Fitchburg. He had his celebration at
Assumption College Chapel, Worcester, He had a number of buses go
from St. Anthony’s Parish in Fitchburg to Assumption College Chapel
was pastor of St. Anna’s, Leominster. He had a reception at Knights
of Columbus in Leominster.
that there was one parishioner of St. Edward’s that was trying to do
a “Lone Ranger” approach for a small party in N. H. She was trying
to sell tickets for a selective few parishioners. I was very
uncomfortable about this because it was a small “clique” atmosphere.
This parishioner was going to sell tickets to “friends of Fr. Ted.”
One issue had to be realized was that I was, always, know as “Fr.
Kardas.” Certain individuals were taking liberty of personalization
that had others open their eyes.
I wanted my
case to be settled and being returned to the parish. The allegations
were baseless and faceless. I was very selective in what I said was
going on in regards to my particulars and the diocese. The
allegations were a stigma on me. It was like a cloud hanging over
me. Therefore, how would I be celebrating with such factors existing
at that time? One had to recall that the diocese after 3 months was
attempting to clear Bishop Rueger through the Superior Court act of
dismissal. Nothing was heard about my case.
trying to balance all of this for the diocese, parishioners of St.
Edwards, friends and myself. Nothing was celebrated publicly for my
25th. It hurt.
thought was how Bishop Reilly told me at the jubilarian Dinner in
April that I wouldn’t celebrate my 25th but I would
celebrate my 40th. How many priests actually make it to
their 40th? I, only, was able to think about Bishop
Daniel Reilly- Danny the Dodger. He was a church politician and was
very good at it.
July 1, 1995
called me to chat and comment concerning a number of letters that I
sent him. He spoke that the suite has to be addressed or drag on. If
that happens, he said the court would throw it out. Then he reacted
to my initial letter to Bishop Reilly’s invitation for the Chrism
Mass. You used his polite humor saying that I was really upset. I
answered because of other priest and their celebrations. I would
have only been able to have one out in the cornfield.
commented that my civil representative was not doing very much for
me. He continued the conversation by saying that the parities want
you out of the church. The Worcester Chicanery Office, according to
Lynch, has worked at my case and doesn’t need for me to be “Nervous
Nellie” in local Chanceries. He said that my case is “mild.” The
Vatican, according to Lynch, was telling the Bishops to “Take care
of it.” If this was true that Rome is leaving each case to the local
bishop, what about Harrington saying to me “Your guilty till proven
innocent.” Statement. He said that Diocese is doing nothing wrong. I
thought “Oh?” He then said the Diocese is not letting the parities
dictate to it.
said that the Diocese has no obligation towards us priest if we did
something wrong. He repeated this as a rights issue. They are, he
said, our caring people towards us. He believed that Harrington was
going to clean off his plate on his retirement. Lynch, actually,
said that Harrington is doing the right thing. He, also, said that
the Diocese hasn’t gotten rid of me but they are cleaning the plate.
What was this all about on Lynch’s part?
at this time, I recalled Fr. Kiely asking me at the IOL, Hartford if
“there was a sex ring in Worcester?” Then I recalled how Bishop
Harrington and Msgr. Tinsley were at a Deanery (District) meeting
that I was hosting at St. Edward’s When Harrington and Tinsley were
leaving, I was walking them out to the car when Harrington saw the
Office sing in the Faith Community Center Office- TGB (Timothy,
George, Bernard). I had named the center office for the three
bishops we had in the diocese at that time as The TGB. So, walking
out, Harrington said to Tinsley “Ed, they won’t have that sign up
very long.” Harrington made sure that I heard his remark. I thought
it very strange. But, it is not strange any more. Already, in
January of 1993, something was in the works about getting me
removed. Harrington’s auto accident intensified issues after that
visits and remark.
point that I then recalled at this time was in March when the suite
came out on Rueger and myself, Rueger supposedly said that he wanted
to resign as auxiliary bishop. But, the story goes that Bishop
Reilly would not allow Rueger to resign.
July 8, 1995
I met for
coffee with Msgr. Jim Mongellozo at Weston Graduate School in
Cambridge. I was surprised to hear Jim say, "More is going to happen
in the diocese that is not good.
day Fr. Lynch called me. He used the analogy of a baseball game. He,
actually, called it the World Series. Lynch said “It is the seventh
and last game, Kardas at bat and he is out. Game over!”
me. He and I talked frequently about baseball especially the Boston
Red Sox vs. New York Yankees. I being Red Sox, Lynch was Yankees. We
had fun joshing each other.
Was he using
a technique of “easy does it” or what?
July 21, 1995
I feel as
though I’m sitting on the street curb and watching the traffic
pass-by. A lot seems to be going on and nothing in regards to me. I
have been fighting for my personal human dignity. The Diocese seems
to have been portraying that they didn’t care. There was no contact
and the silence was deafening on part of the Chancery Gang’s.
the talk at St. Edward’s how Mrs. May Ann Rabuicco spoke with Fr.
Anthony Kazanowych. He said to her that they used to have benevolent
bishops out West who would take anyone accused. He added that this
is no done anymore because with all the suing taking place by
Kazanowych addressing this towards Rabuccio? Fr. Kazanowych was part
of the “Polish League” of priest. They had me as a traitor to the
Polish cause- Not being assigned to a Polish Parish.
This was the
first time parishioners were getting direct comments from priest in
the diocese towards St. Edward’s parishioners. It was this type of
character sniping taking place towards me.
August 1, 1995
One may not
realize but certain groups and individuals in the Westminster area
and the Diocese were defaming my name and character. I termed it
may be realized by a letter that I received from Connie Rivard at
this time. She sent me a letter that she wrote to Bishop Reilly
about all the marriages that were being celebrated at St. Edward’s
especially at this time.52
observation is most interesting because it involved members of her
family and the number of marriages taking place at St. Edward’s. She
wrote Bishop Reilly about a marriage celebrated at the nearby
“Cathedral of the Pines” in Rindge, NH A month later this marriage
was “blessed” in St. Edward’s Chapel. It seemed that the Temporary
Administrator told a couple that after they were married at the
“Cathedral of the Pines” then he would “bless” their marriage in the
chapel at St. Edward’s The Catholic Church does not recognize any
ceremonies done at this location because it is not considered a
church. Well, it seemed that Connie’s daughter-in-law, Mrs. Susan
Rivard told Connie that this was going to happen six months before
it occurred. This particular case was Susan Rivard’s nephew. Susan
Rivard was not even a member of St. Edward’s but was constantly
undermining my ministry when I was at the parish. Besides, this
person was telling others that I was chasing people away from St.
Edward’s. So, with Fr. Roberge, she switched her style by saying
that Fr. Roberge was bring the young people back to the church by
giving them the sacraments.
the Bishop about the secrecy and lack of Banns of Marriage not being
published or any type of announcements.
But, my eyes
opened wide when Connie wrote me that all of this particular
“Cathedral of the Pines” case were planned in that “about six months
ago that this was going to happen.”53
Rivard received a letter from Bishop Rueger concerning this matter.
He wrote, “thank you for alerting us, we will be looking into the
matter.”54 She responded back to Bishop Reilly saying that she
“wrote to you (him) ‘Confidential/Personal.” This was not respected.
Also, my questions were not answered.”55 Then Bishop Reilly respond
to Rivard’s letter saying “bishop Rueger, who works very closely and
confidentially with me on natures such as this, has misplaced your
initial letter. Do you have a copy that you could send to me? I will
appreciate hearing from you again.”56 She sent a copy of her
original letter. Father Stephen Pedone, Judicial Vicar, then
responded to Connie Rivard concerning this situation.57 Connie
Rivard responded to Fr. Pedone with a copy to Bishop Reilly stating
“What I have written abut is a done fact. My daughter-in-law told us
six months ago that her godson had consulted with the parish priest
and she said that the priest at St. Edward’s, at that time, said he
would bless his marriage. This couple returned from their honeymoon
and shortly after with their families drove up to St. Edward’s and
had the marriage blessed.” She, also, wrote “Would you please give
us some answers, because secrecy is so prevalent at St. Edward’s.”58
me “My daughter-in-law told me over six months ago that her godson
had been planning this wedding two years before, there, at the
Cathedral of the Pines. I questioned her about not having it at St.
Edward or St. Denis’ where his (godchild) fiancée was from. She (Sue
Rivard) said oh, that’s o problem, they spoke to Fr. Roberge and he
said ‘That’s Okay,’ after you return from your honeymoon, I will
bless your marriage.”59
“misplaced” Rivard’s original letter was most interesting to read.
Classic case of “smoking mirrors.” Besides this, one has to realize
that anywhere Rueger was concerning my case was a red flag. He had
an agenda against me. Yet, he was handling sensitive information
concerning my case.
I used a
poster in the Resource Room of the parish that showed that the
Church is not a gas station, but a faith Community.” It seemed that
the Temporary Administrator was developing a “Super Shell Gas
Station.” Better, yet, was how certain parishioners were pushing
their own agenda’s of getting their own children pushing through for
sacraments more of a cultural celebration than a church sacrament In
plain English- sacramental abuse.
Rivard responded by letter to Bishop
August 2, 1995
stopped by for a visit to make me aware of a particular situation
that he thought I should have knowledge. He told me he was counting
the Sunday Collection that past Sunday in the rectory. The Counting
room is on the second floor of the rectory, next to my personal
quarter. He related how he would hear my TV in my sitting
room/personal office and library. He opened the door and looked in
to see the TV playing, my desk light on and a cat lying on my coach.
He stepped in to notice that in the bedroom section was a cat litter
box next to my bed. He sensed that there was the odor of cat through
these two rooms. Oddly enough he noticed my Lazy-boy chair was not
in my quarters anymore.
what was happening to my personal quarters and belongings at this
August 6, 1995
formulating questions for the next time that I would speak with
Attorney Carey. These questions I had: Where is my case going?
What’s holding us up? Who’s in the game at this point? What’s the
next move? Actually, after thinking about this I wrote Attorney
Carey with this thoughts.60
feeling humiliation and being depersonalized by my isolation imposed
by the Diocese.
August 23, 1995
my monthly separate appointments with Fr. Keily and Dr. Zeman. Dr.
Zeman asked me if I would like any medication at this time. He did
ask me periodically this same question. But, I remained with my same
answer- I took one form of medication (drinking alcohol) some time
back. I rather am myself with daily life. Dr. Zeman said, “Reilly
can do what he wants. They (Diocese) created a Catch-22 in it is
there way or not way.
One of the general sessions
while at IOL, I recall one of the priest asking the director, Heidi,
"Why are we here?" Her answer was “You are here because of
depression!” I recall my private reaction as “Oh?” I was hearing
this depression term used by many different people telling me that I
was such. My reaction was always “Oh?”
conversation became interesting around this time. Attorney Carey
made a comment towards Fr. Lynch that surprised me by saying “Don’t
trust Lynch. Don’t forget that Fr. Lynch is a company man!” I was
surprised by this comment. Did Carey have some information that he
was not sharing with me? What was gong on?
August 31, 1995
wrote a strong letter to Bishop Reilly concerning giving me an
appointment. Lynch wrote “ON re-reading it (letter of February 1,
1995), it wouldn’t change anything, not because I am such a genius
but because the issues of fairness and justice to Ted Kardas are
still true. Ted had been dying on the vine for over two years. When
there was a suit against the diocese, Bishop Rueger and Ted, did
everybody leave their canonical office until the suit was dropped or
they were found innocent? Or did they, believing themselves to be
unjustly accused, continue in this ministry? When Cardinal Bernardin
was formally accused, did he remove himself from office or did he
continue serving his people? I don’t know of anywhere in our
canonical literature that says justice for bishops is different from
justice for priests. If you give Ted Kardas an appointment, you are
not putting the diocese in danger. Liability is proved when a person
is clearly a proven risk and you nonetheless let him
function. Ted isn’t proven anything. The Institute report says he is
just not the kind. And they are experts. Please, Bishop, bring him
back online. It is a needed bolstering of our common priesthood.”61
Reilly responded to Fr. Lynch’s letter on September 18, 1995. Reilly
wrote “As you are aware two civil suits have been brought by two
individuals alleging sexual abuse by Father Kardas over a period of
time. These cases are currently pending. At this time it would be
most imprudent for me as bishop to return Fr. Kardas to his ministry
as pastor of St. Edward the Confessor Parish, Westminster,
Massachusetts, or to consider giving him another appointment until
we receive the judgment of the civil court on this matter. My hope
is that these cases will be settled soon.”62 .
that I have at this time is how did this “civil suits” were able to
get as far as they have? It was most interesting how the Worcester
Diocese was handling my case. God forbid if there are different
standards for different people in this diocese.
September 6, 1995
that I have been absent from my parish.
September 8, 1995
this work- Sex, Priests and powers: Anatomy of a Crisis by
A.W. Richard Sipe.63. I immediately started to wonder how all of
this insight would give any credence to how the Worcester Chancery
Office or any Chancery operated. Don’t forget what I got from my
Bishop Harrington- Guilty till proven innocent.
September 15, 1995
ago, Fr. Tom Doyle, 50, made a decision he says erased any hope he
might have had for upward mobility on the ladder of church
employment on the ladder of church employment. But this decision,
according to Barbara Blair, president of the Survivors Network of
those Abused, SNAP, has allowed him ‘more than any other priest in
the United States’ to bring hope and healing to hundreds of victims
of clerical sex abuse. A decade ago, Doyle, at the time a canon
lawyer at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, became aware of the
problems of sex abuse among Catholic clergy.” This article mainly
reported how Doyle worked “making sure the response to the victims
and their families was total compassion. All of a sudden just
flopped and fell through (ad hoc committee). The steps we had taken
to get them (Bishops) interested in a special ad hoc committee all
of sudden shut down They didn’t want to deal with it on that
level.”64 There always is more to such stories. But, Fr. Tom Doyle
seems to get recognition from SNAP and others.
September 23, 1995
called me. I considered it a caring call. He asked if they’re doing
anything. I asked about what? He said concerning as reaction to his
letter to Bishop Reilly. He did not think that Bishop Reilly’s
letter was not really good overall. Lynch hoped it would be settled
soon. But, he continued that we have to “hold our breath.” He said
that “those who initiate civil charges are looking for money and it
could be a lot worst.” He commented that he was surprised that I was
“not screaming at the top of my lungs. I would be yelling like crazy
if I was you” Lynch said “Dr. Zeman might think you are in denial.
These takes it courses. You have to wait.” Then he let go with
“You’ll never return to the parish. The only 25th
Anniversary Celebration you will have will be in a hayfield.” Was
Lynch playing good cop- bad cop?
very stressful on me. I was using prudence and humility in my
behavior especially with the Worcester Chancery Gang. I, only,
wanted the smoke to clear.
September 24, 1995
Fr. Lynch’s note, which he spoke off in the last phone call “Here
are the copies of the letters to the Bishop and him to me. Remember,
as the Rabbi said: It won’t be long now!”65 My continuous reaction
“Oh?” about returning to my duties and responsibilities. Since
beginning my sobriety, I found living meaningful. My strength, I
believed was God’s grace upon me with the helping hand of many good
people. If I tired any simplicity or trivializing anything I was
presently undergoing, I would miss the point of my sobriety. There
were so many fabricated stories circulating about me that had no
dept or accuracy. The AA program kept me alert by their teaching of
“keeping one’s memory green, staying teachable and continuously
working one’s program on a daily bases.” I wanted closure yesterday
to be back at my parish because the allegation was baseless and
September 25, 1995
One of St.
Edward’s parishioners meets me at the supermarket. She told me that
Fr. Roberge told her a bit of information that had her wondering. He
said that he asked Bishop Rueger if he could unpack his stuff in the
rectory. The Bishop said “No!” What was going down? Roberge talking
that Rueger said that he “I shouldn’t unpack.”
What I can’t
forget is some time back that Rueger sent me a letter with a note
that wrote on the bottom for me to get my stuff out of the rectory
for Fr. Roberge needed the space. Rueger even said that he would
send me some money for storage. My canon lawyer, Fr. Lynch, told me
not to move anything from the rectory. Different story developing.
October 7, 1995
my 51st birthday. I want my good name back.
October 10, 1995
visiting Mrs. Rivard and having a cup of coffee. The porch doorbell
ran. It was Angelo (Mike) Quarreler. Mike was like my right hand man
with liturgy at the parish. But, he has a wife, Irene that was
constantly on the phone spreading stories about the parish daily. I
told Mrs. Rivard not to say I was in the house. But, while he was
talking to her at the door he said, “Even if he (Fr. Kardas) did it!
Tell him to give me a call! ”I heard this I just sat at the table in
semi-shock. I immediately thought “Guilty till proven innocent
“syndrome. I never responded or saw him, again. Mike was a person I
thought had Christian dignity and was a classy person. I didn’t
think that any more.
October 25, 1995
Worcester Telegram reported “Bishops to condemn child sex abuse”
by The Associated Press. This article said, “After a decade in which
the sins of pedophile priests placed their church on a grudging
defensive, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are issuing a forceful
pastoral message that condemns the sexual abuse of
October 26, 1995
issued “Walk in the Light” document on child sex abuse.67 The
Catholic Free Press had a front page story “U.S. bishops issue
pastoral on sex abuse” story on this document on October 27th.68
November 9, 1995
Richard wrote Bishop Reilly “It is still hard to believe that on the
basis of an accusation, someone (Fr. Kardas) who was able to bring
about this sort of Community in the Church (Parishioners working
together) could be made to sit out for 21/2 years now. It makes on
wonder that the victim really is. I write to you, Bishop Reilly, to
let you know that this is not forgotten.”69
November 22, 1995
Leger was telling me that she notices Sandy Normandin in her art
class just waiting for some juicy follow-up or something concerning
my case. Normandin hints by questioning Leola if there is anything
new concerning Fr. Kardas. Leger said Normandin is like stalking for
any information about Fr. Kardas. I imagine Normandin isn’t the only
person doing this. It’s like watching a ball game and looking at the
scoreboard of what other teams are doing.
December 27, 1995
I visited IOL in Hartford
for another scheduled separate appointments with Fr. Keily and Dr.
told me that Bishop Rueger was down her at IOL on another matter
during the first of November. . Fr. Keily and Dr. Zeman told him
that the diocese should get in contact with Fr. Kardas. Rueger told
them he would look in to it.
When I meet
with Dr. Zeman, he said, “You’re a fighter! There is nothing more
that we (IOL) can do for you.”
December 29, 1995
Attorney Carey received “Plaintiffs’ First Request For Production Of
Documents To The Defendants” from Attorney Michael P. Flammia of
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott of One International Place/ 18th
Floor, Boston Massachusetts 02110.70 Here, also, is Roderick
MacLeish, Jr. Esq.