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Come With Me Through The Gates Of Heaven

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Poster Boy Priest

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1995

 

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1995 

January 1, 1995

                The holidays 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 next step?

                A 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

                St. Edward’s 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 diocese.”1

                This was 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

                I called 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

                Bishop 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

                At the 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. Kardas’ privacy.

                This issue 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.

                Mrs. Leola 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 benefits.

                Mrs. Leger 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.

                Besides Lola 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. Edward’s.”

                Another 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.

                Connie was 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.

                John (Jack) 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

                Connie 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. Edward’s7

                The story 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

                Another day and another story. This came back to me through the rumor mill that seemed to reinforce the Worcester’s Poster Boy image by the Worcester Chancery.

                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.

                I realized 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,

                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.

                Then Carol McCormick shows up in 1992 on a Saturday afternoon with her daughter asking if I would give her daughter First Communion.

                This time 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.

                I directed 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 Communion.

                Another 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 assigned parishes.

                Adding to 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

                Fr. Roberge 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 all possibilities.”8

                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

                The new 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

                Attorney 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.

                I raised 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. 

                Therefore, 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

                Mrs. Anna 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.”

                She, also, 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 there either.”14

                Nothing was heard or done with anything by the Bishop or anyone else. 

January 31, 1995  

                Attorney 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

                Fr. Lynch, 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

                This letter did line up facts, which were finally being stated about me. 

February 3, 1995

                I was 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 conflict.”17

                I mention 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 my name.

                I, actually, 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

                Mrs. 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

                This same 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

                I write 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.

                There, also, was the nagging question of my 25th Anniversary of priestly ordination that was to be celebrated during May of this year (1995). 

February 9, 1995

                I was 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.

                It seemed that Fr. Roberge was making permanent moves at St. Edward’s with programs.  

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?”

                This showed 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.)

                In the 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

                I attended my monthly meeting in Hartford with Fr. Keily, then Dr. Zeman. Dr. Zeman said to me when I was leaving his appointment “Keep on plugging!”   

February 23, 1995

                Father Lynch 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

                Another 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.

                These 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

                Questions 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.

                Attorney 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

                Attorney 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

                Attorney Carey received this letter on March 1, 1995.  Whenever I received a copy of this, I realized it was baseless and faceless.

                Bishop 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.

                Realizing 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 “abuse.”

                When I 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

                Again, reading these count documents, I realized that they were baseless and faceless. 

                This 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

                Besides 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.

                The 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

                From a 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.

                Alice said 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.

                The 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.

                There was 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.

                There was 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 marriages.

                Altar 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

                Dr. Zeman 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

                Mrs. Donna 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 this story.”32 

March 6, 1995

                The 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

                Another 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

                I received 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

                I was 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

                Letter and 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 Picclomini.

March 10, 1995

                Front page 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.

                But Fr. 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 Church.

                A few 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 dawn. 

March 17, 1995

I received 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 + George.”39

This comment from Rueger about me being “odd’ was written in the The Worcester Telegram & Gazette article of 3/2/95 concerning me.

Well, why write me. This should have been addressed to the proper authorities and editor of The Worcester Telegram & Gazette. It never was addressed. 

March 16, 1995

Fr. Lynch 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

                Besides this 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 story. 

March 19, 1995

                I was 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

                The rumors 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 parishioners. 

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. Worcester.44

                 But, my first reaction was that I would not attend because of the way the Diocese was handling my particulars with Rueger and the Chancery Gang.

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

The next 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.

 In the 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 Worcester Chancery? 

April 6, 1995

                When I 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.

                At the 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.

                When I 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.”

There was 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.

At the 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 talking.

There was 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

                During the 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.

Attorney 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.

                I contacted 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 ordination.”50 

May 18, 1995

                Attorney 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.

                I sensed 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.

                There was 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.

                There was 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.

 Inzarello 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 and reception.

Batistta was pastor of St. Anna’s, Leominster. He had a reception at Knights of Columbus in Leominster.

I heard 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.

I was 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.

One final 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

                Fr. Lynch 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.

                He then 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.

                He, also 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?

Especially 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.

Another 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.

                Later that 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!”

                This puzzled 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.

                There was 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 victims.

                Why was 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 “snipping.”

                This point 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

                Connie’s 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.

                Connie wrote 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

                Connie 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

                Connie wrote 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

                Rueger “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.

                Connie Rivard responded by letter to Bishop 

August 2, 1995

                Jack Keena 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.

                This was what was happening to my personal quarters and belongings at this time. 

August 6, 1995

                I was 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

                I was feeling humiliation and being depersonalized by my isolation imposed by the Diocese. 

August 23, 1995

                I attended 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?”

                Another 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

                Fr. Lynch 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

                Bishop 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 .

                The question 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

                856 days that I have been absent from my parish. 

September 8, 1995

                I reviewed 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

                “Ten years 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

                Fr. Lynch 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?

                This was 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

                I received 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 faceless. 

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

                I celebrate my 51st birthday. I want my good name back.

October 10, 1995

                I was 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

                The 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 children.”66               

October 26, 1995

                The Bishops 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

                Mrs. Ann 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

                Mrs. Leola 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. Zeman.

                Fr. Keily 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.

 
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