anuary 3, 1996
I received a
phone call for Attorney Carey in the afternoon. Attorney Puccio,
representing the Diocese, said to Carey is only lending $10,000 to
me. Carey said that I could sue the Diocese for the amount of
lawyer’s fees and put them in the suit somehow. He said this could
“botch –up things that would be happening. He, also, said that the
girl’s depositions were going to have taken place in the next tow or
three-week. Besides this, he said that if we go to trail that the
lawyer’s fees Amy reach up to $75,000. We were, at this time, at
$10,000. Carey occluded this phone conversation as “crunch time.” He
said things are happening very quickly.
I asked Carey
to speak with Fr. Lynch. I didn’t know what to say or turn in my
particulars. But, I knew that if a priest sues his diocese, he is
finished as a priest. Carey asked me if there is any canon laws
which would provides support for legal fees?
I recalled in
this phone conversation that I spoke to him before that McCormick
had her daughter at the rectory one year before I was called into
the chancery. He responded with “Weird!”
I called Fr.
Kiely about my next appointment and mentioned this matter of loan.
He only said that I should call Fr. Lynch. Things were bouncing in
my head of where does this now go?
called me and asked that I call Fr. Henry Bowen of the Worcester
Diocese. Bowen was a classmate of Lynch in Canon Law. He asked if
there was any other decent and sharp canon lawyer around? I
mentioned that my only alternative was to break into my IRA for
said that I had been through this type of pain before. He said that
I did O.K. with God’s help. With God’s help, he said things would
But, it was
most strenuous even if Lynch said I have gone through similar pain
before. It hurt, again. I was not any easier if I went through
things like this before. I did realize God’s help. The Diocese made
me guilty and now good luck!
January 8, 1996
I was hearing
rumble from a few parish staff members that there was a game being
played by a number of people in the parish, Diocese and other areas.
I heard that anger was becoming part of the parish atmosphere. I was
not surprised of any anger and other factors because of the time
element and lack of communication. What had me wondering about
certain people working parish ministry was whom did they show
allegiance towards. I, also, wondered how one of these individuals
was setting her up for a full time parish paid job in her sights.
But, I had to be very prudent in what I would say because in the
Church is an unwritten rule of not undermining. I was extremely
sensitive of this. The Chancery Gang would have loved to use this
against me. It was a very hard issue that I knew people in the
parish would not understand or want to hear.
that I started thinking about giving a deposition for a first time.
I had not idea what disposition was. What happens? What’s expected
of me? What can I be expected to be asked and how do I answer these
question besides being honest? Was it going to be ended or go to
trial? During this time of almost 20 years ago, my memory was
“cloudy.” I don’t remember a lot because of the time factor and my
drinking. But, I know that these allegations towards me were
baseless and faceless.
were more questions than answers.
January 19, 1996
Leger told me a story that was from the rumor mill. It seemed that
her friend, Sandi Normandin told her in 1993 that she won’t see Fr.
Kardas back in Westminster, again. Normandin heard this from the GE
Connection in Fitchburg. Leger was, also, told, that “that girl
(McCormick) had marriage problems and went to a counselor who used
hypnosis for repressed memory.”
reason for having people like Mrs. Alice (Gusha) Pisecco to testify
on my behalf on information she wanted to tell about Carol
January 9, 1996
Carey wrote a letter to Attorney Puccio concerning his last call.
Carey addressed that I did not have any outside resources for
“probable fees and expenses of his (my) defense. On a more practical
level, it strikes me that, barring financial support; Father Kardas
has but a few viable options. Assuming that Robinson & Cole does not
take this matter on as a service to Fr. Kardas (as opposed to the
Church which course, is not falling over itself to avoid being
associated with him), he can either (1) try to defend himself
poor se, (2) permit a default judgment to enter against him, or
(3) attempt toolkit another lawyer who will provide him with a
defense. The first two options are the most likely, and also the
most dangerous from the Diocesan’s point of view.”1
“Father Kardas defending
himself before a jury (Where the Diocese and Bishop Rueger are
represented) would most certainly appear unseemly, as though the
Diocese had abandoned him. This would seem particularly true when
his pro se defense is viewed light of what I believe will be the
testimony of the Diocese and its representatives – that Father
Kardas had a long and admirable record and that there was and is no
indication anywhere in Church records or individual memories which
would in any way point to even an expectancy of the behavior of
which he is accursed.”2
“Similarly, while default
judgment against Father Kardas is useless (in terms of monetary
relief: to the plaintiffs, it does permit them to pursue the Diocese
and Bishop Rueger alone in front of a jury.”3
reason for my financial status was my earning, as a priest was
minimal. I, always, paid my bills for whatever I purchased. I had
not depts. Whatever especially where I paid in full my college and
theological education when I was ordained as a priest. I knew as a
fact that a number of my classmates that were ordained with me in
the Diocese had substantial education loans at ordination. But, they
went ahead and purchased housing in Cape Cod and area lakefront
properties without any desire to pay their bills with the Diocese. I
was told this directly by a coupe of my classmates.
I summarized that the
powers-to-be investigated privately my financial portfolio and
January 10, 1996
I came across
material for a first time in that I realized the drum beat was
picking up on allegations. The source I reviewed was Crux of the
News printed in Albany NY. The particular article was
“Misconduct.” It was a first publication released under sponsorship
of interfaith sexual Trauma Institute (IST) created at St. John’s
University/Abbey in May 1994. The publication was entitled
Healing Congregations wounded by clergy Sexual Misconduct of
Liturgical Press. Topics addressed as major premises: Truth-telling,
justice-making are integral to change/healing; via complex/painful
process, healing and restoration are possible for survivors,
offenders, wider communities.4 This had me wondering because I never
was told anything besides the “hot-house kitchen” interrogation. The
Chancery Gang must now have been reading these types of
publications. But, what was the case in March 1993?
January 15, 1996
Curtin, a member of St. Edward’s Faith Community, wrote two letters.
One letter was to Bishop Reilly. The other letter was to Bishop
she wrote to Bishop Reilly “It has been one year since your visit to
the people at St. Edward’s. In spite of all our prayers, we are
still without our Pastor, Father Kardas. It is almost 3 years
without his ministering to his people and no word from the Chancery.
What about the people of St. Edward’s who lost a man, pastor and
letter Mrs. Curtin wrote was to Bishop Harrington. She wrote “While
you come out of retirement for yet another celebration, there was no
party for his (Fr. Kardas). But, we who attended the Chrism Mass did
get to say hello and see that he is alive. Why can Bishop Rueger
minister and Father Kardas can’t when it is the same legal case? Oh!
Yes! OJ (Simpson) taught us a lot about our legal system and you
dear bishop taught me a lot of the politicos of the Catholic
Curtain showed the frustration of the parish and number of people
January 19, 1996
Carey wrote Attorney James Reardon concerning the issue of the loan
for my defense. Carey wrote “As I understand it, the suggestion was
premised in some part by the fact that you would be able to obtain
competent defense counsel who would agree to work under those
limitations. You also pointed out that there would not be much for
Father Kardas’ attorney to do given that the Diocese’s attorney,
Joanne Goulka, would be doing most of the work on behalf of the
defendants as a whole.”
“While I have
every confidence in Joanne’s competence, her client’s interests are
not exactly those of Father Kardas, a fact which is adequately
demonstrated by the Motion to Dismiss file on behalf of the Diocese.
Hence, it is not entirely clear to me that here is even an intent to
present a unified defense, let alone any real chance that one will
be presented in fact.”
Nevertheless, relying on your
wisdom and experience in these matters, and taking at face value
your estimate of the realistic fees to be charge in a case such as
this, I am prepared to cap my fees at $20,000 for the case through
trail. I would appreciate, however, some assurance on the part of
the Diocese that they will reasonably cognized fees in excess of
that cap if events develop such that I must, in order to meet my
duty as Father Kardas’ defense attorney in this matter, take a more
active role in the case than that you have described as probably
necessary index the present circumstances.”7
When I read
this letter, it was something I was not surprised to read. The way
the Diocese treated me from March 3, 1993 with “your guilty till
proven innocent.” was becoming clearer as my particulars progressed.
It was a done deal. I was history.
the Diocese used the civil legal system where it was not able to get
at me through the canonical system.
January 25, 1996
I received a
letter for mishap Reilly concerning “Loan for Attorney’s Fee.” He
wrote ”In that way (forward bills to Tinsley) you will know the cost
of your legal defense and the financial obligation to the Diocese
which you are assuming.”8
January 30, 1996
I noticed a
pattern developing by reading the local newspaper of “Jury clear
Harrington and Diocese.” This involved Father Ronald D. Provost,
Bishop Harrington and the Diocese. The article began with “A jury
yesterday rejected claims that retired Bishop Timothy J. Harrington
and the Worcester Diocese were negligent in supervising a Catholic
Here I read
that path the Diocese would be taking with me. I was out there
February 6, 1996
I received a
letter from Attorney Carey regarding depositions for the next
several months. My eyes opened wide when I read the names of certain
people that were to be deposed. There were a total of 5 on the list
but ended with 6 people.10
February 15, 1996
I spoke with
Attorney Carey I was concerned about what would happen in a
deposition. He told me that he attends all depositions. I asked him
for a 1-hour appointment to give me a preview of what a disposition
would entail. I, also, told him that the rumor mill in the Diocese
was that it made a financial settlement and it doesn’t want to take
February 21, 1996
received a billing for the services of Attorney Carey< I was getting
somewhat of a picture of what was happening with the legal
perspective. There was billing of “letters written, telephone
conferences, receipt and review material from Kardas, receipt and
review deposition notices, review pleadings and file, prepare for
depositions, prepare for, attend and conduct depositions, receipt
and review discovery from Diocese, review all discovery; begin draft
of production requests, and study discovery alternatives.”11 My eyes
opened wide when I read this itemized list as of 12/19/96-Prepare
for, attend and conduct deposition of Allen at Eckert, Seamens;
office conference Goulka re same of 4.20 hrs @ $200.00/h = $840.00.
My concern was that this was only beginning.
I was getting feedback of rumor talk at this time. Father Bob
Shauris was telling another friend that Bishop Rueger told him that
“The Diocese has made a financial settlement, but does not want to
put Ted back in. The neighboring parish, religious education
coordinator, Sister Nancy was heard to say, “He (Fr. Kardas) is a
drunk. Never will come back!” Then Ernie Bedard of Westminster was
questioning Connie Rivard about me. He said “Oh! He (Fr. Kardas) has
a drinking problem.” Bedard was an uncle of Bob Chatrand in town.
Besides, Mrs. Leola Leger meet Father Roland Gamache of Winchendon
at a local restaurant in Gardner where Fr. Gamache told her “We,
priest, now have to behave ourselves in this profession.” There was
this defamation of character going on and I had nothing I was able
to have done to address this or anything. I did mention this to
Attorney Carey. He seemed to only listen and hinted that this was
part of the territory. I kept trying to get my message across of
“connect the dots, folks!”
February 29, 1996
I received my
next bill for legal fees. This time I read “2/6/96- Prepare for and
attend deposition of Reidy, conference Reidy and Goulka, letter to
Flammia- 3.20 hrs. $200.00/hr = $640.00.” The I read “2/21/96-
Prepare for, attend deposition of Carol McCormick; conference
Goulka, Puccio re case organize production- 8.10 hrs. $200.00/hr =
$1,620.00.”13 Here, again, my eyes were grown and grew as I read the
March 1, 1996
I read this
article in The National Catholic Reporter about “Archdiocese
fined more than $1 million.” The article reports “Most cases are
settled out of court and involve compensatory damages. Attorneys who
hand sex abuse cases estimate that the U.S. church has paid out some
$500 million in lawyer and settlement fees.”12
pace seemed to have picked-up. But, It showed what the diocese was
doing with any allegation cases.
March 4, 1996
I meet with
Attorney Carey at his office in Boston for 2:20 hours. We covered a
number of issues and he was very direct in a number of his comments.
Carey seemed to express the status between a Worcester Lawyer vs.
the Boston group of lawyers. He said that Attorney Reardon was “for
the cause” of the Diocese. Reardon said that the Diocese could get
someone for $15,000. Carey made it know that Attorney’s Reardon and
Puccio bill was already at $15,000.
told me that he hoped the Diocese did not make a financial
settlement with the two girls. He told me, he wanted my name to be
cleared. He, also, told me that he would have liked the names of all
my drinking buddies. The reason being that the plaintiffs and their
lawyers were going after issues of today being carried over to the
that my allegations were all from out of Fitchburg, Massachusetts
and the GE plant in this city.
He, the, said
that when McCormick was deposed that all the lawyers in the room
besides her own lawyer thought she was “Wako.” Well, I said what was
going to be done in my defense?
me to know that when he last spoke to Fr. Lynch, it was about the
money issue. But, Carey wanted to know that “the Church needs him.
(Kardas) He would turn on the Diocese anytime he wants. He has not
told us all that is in him. He has much more inside of him. He can
turn anytime he wants.”
that he was “ticked” where he waited for 1-½ hours on Friday (March
1st) for deposition of Kevin Moylan. Moylan was a no
show. Bishop Rueger still did not come in, at this time for his
deposition. I reminded Carey that Rueger kept constantly going at me
when he was able to get the stage in front of Bishop Harrington or
others with “More are going to come out against you!” (Allegations)
By the way, there never was another allegation towards me even after
my case was printed in the media.
I told Carey
a lot of information that I was being told me by a number of people
that were calling, writing and visiting me. He wanted me to know
that his last conversation with Lynch that I always called or wrote
before anything had happened in my case. But, he wanted me to know
that today’s barrier was only one suite with someone to agree with
it to be carried out. So, I thought, then do something as my legal
me to know that “you can be a success inside or outside the Church.
Whatever you do would be a success!”
I had to
remember that he represented me. There was another side of these
entire going on that I was not hearing or reading. But, I did recall
that Carey said, “You can turn on them (Diocese) anytime you want.”
March 21, 1996
called to tell me that he had leukemia. He was going, immediately,
to the hospital for treatment. Therefore, he, said, he would be out
of circulation for at least a month. He was to receive an intense
chemo treatment I said that my prayers would be for him in this part
of his life’s journey.
Lynch made a
few other remarks that had my “fear buckets” fill-up. He said that
he “can’t ask the Diocese to put me at a Diocesan assignment at this
time.” He said this is that we can’t ask this because of the court
case now underway with depositions. He said we “Got to fight
falsity.” The, he said that the “Diocese really didn’t have to loan
me money for lawyer fees. It was nice of them.” He concluded, “It’s
in the lawyers hands. Bishop Reilly is praying for you.”
I should have
mentioned that there was no contact from the Bishop’s Office or
anyone else at the Worcester Chancery for a lengthily period of
time. I, also, notice that Fr. Picclomini was not anymore sending me
any Mass stipends. The faucet was being turned off. There definitely
was a pattern here beyond development.
Lynch’s remarks kept resonating in my thoughts: “The boys will have
to start behaving themselves. Some good bodies are getting caught up
with the bad.
March 27, 1996
In my next
appointment with Dr. Zeman, I spoke about the fact that I had some
anxiety about a deposition. I never had to do one. He told me that
it is always, an anxiety and stressful time for him when he is
deposed. But, he said that he is getting paid when he did it. I
realized it is a little different in my situation with me being
under the spotlight. He did say that I would have my lawyer with me.
Dr, Zeman said that I might have an opportunity to address if any of
my rights were violated. I recall, since there was going to be a
stenographer present, that I would show the transcript to him in my
next appointment. I never did receive a copy of the disposition. I
had annuity working through my whole being about my deposition
remember on my drive back from Hartford thinking how one tome De.
Zeman say, “Worcester does not know what it is doing!” This was in
my mind most of the 1 ¾ hour drive back to my place.
that with me in dealing with the Diocese that they did want me
around which had nothing to do with allegation of the two girls. The
Diocese disentangled Rueger. I did not expect them to do that with
me. My reputation now was tarnished to jeopardize any type of
minister. All the good work that I did was gone. Besides, the
invasion of privacy by interplant investigation and rumors were very
painful to even think about this.
I read an
interesting article entitled “Priest tried to catch the joy as it
fell” in The National Catholic Reporter by Fr. Robert J.
Bowers. He wrote, “I thought priests followed Jesus and made
mistake. I did not know it was a mistake to think all priests follow
Jesus. There are indeed some who follow power.”14
this, I wondered about the power issue. I, only, made the mistake of
alcoholism. The “powers-to-be” used this against me. What came to
mind is Lord Action’s famous quote: Power corrupts, absolute power
corrupts absolutely. I recalled Attorney Carey telling who was not
Catholic, me that the Church was very powerful.
Carey was getting direct with me to remind me that Fr. Lynch was a
“company man.” I was somewhat surprised. But, Carey had personal
conversations with Lynch that was not revealed to me. Carey had to
be picking-up things that I was not hearing or told.
I had to
remember that even Dr. Zeman told me “But, you were drinking.” Yes,
I was drinking at that time. But these two girls’ allegations were
faceless and baseless.
March 31, 1996
everything picking-up pace, I received a copy of a letter that Mrs.
Anna Richard wrote Bishop Reilly. She wrote and reminded me how she
recalled in previous Hole Weeks at St. Edward’s the liturgies
(celebrations). There was her comments “Every Good Friday, at the
end of the service, Father Kardas would read a ‘litany’ to which we
would answer…’But Sunday’s coming.’ To this day, I still hear
people saying, ‘but Sunday is coming’ at our church. That is a very
powerful statement. I still believe Sunday’s coming. But, I have
also come to see that we all have a part in making Sunday come by
doing what we can to bring God’s justice and love.”15
This was a
very large part of my spirit and overall disposition through all of
my latest experience and isolation.
April 5, 1996
begi9nning to happen. People that were walking with me through my
journey since 1993 were dropping out. One particular person was Mrs.
Pamela Swedberg. She was ministering with the R.C.I.A. process at
She called me
to tell me that she “was not able to take it anymore of her work and
being acquainted with me. She told me that she would not be talking
or calling me anymore. It was a good-bye on her part. She, also,
said that she was taking this opportunity to tell me not to write or
contact her mother, Mercy Sutela. Mercy was a very strong advocate
for me during my time in Westminster. Mercy had strong opinions and
was strongly defended whatever I undertook in the parish.
said, “O.K. if that is what you want. Bye!” I didn’t say anything
else. I was very calm and knew it was predictable with Swedberg. She
was looking for a paid position at the parish. A paid job does do
things to people. She was working the Confirmation ministry from
that point of no guidelines. Everything was from the top of her head
for decisions of what to do for Confirmation class. Personality
became the dominant factor over principles. A number of parishioners
told me that Swedberg had let her ministry at St. Edward’s “go to
her head.” When I raised what did this mean, they explained that she
tells others that “this is what Father (Roberge) wants.” Besides
this, she was making the weekly banking deposit at the bank on
Sunday afternoons. This, I was told had a number of people eyes
opened. Myself always, did the bank deposit after I did a
checks-and-balance before I drove it over to the night deposit at
the bank. Swedberg, I guess became the “associate pastor.”
A new group
was trying to establish itself in the parish. Kathy Jordon, Debbie
Hill, Pamela Swedberg were circling Father Roberge. The saddest part
is that these individuals had not catechetical, liturgical or
ministerial training besides general parish workshops.
What I was
sensing that the Worcester Chancery was stalling on my particulars.
I had to accept everything. But I didn’t know what was underneath or
behind different things going on with my life as a priest. I was
also sensing that there was a pre-planned procedure about the whole
thing against me. It was in limbo this is what Worcester Diocese
wanted about me. I felt, as I was a non-person with the Worcester
Chancery Gang. But, I realized that they were looking out for Bishop
Rueger. Fear and abused were in my overall disposition. It hurt.
Loneliness was deafening.
April 10, 1996
There was a
letter sent to Attorney Carey. This gave me an ideal of who was
being deposed concerning my case. These witnesses beside myself were
Bishop Rueger, Abbey Weber, Kevin, Moylan and the continued
deposition of Carol McCormick. 16 If I was correct that previously
Suzanne (Allen) Joslyn (December 19, 1995) and Ronald Reidy
(February 6, 1996) were deposed. I was never given an opportunity to
have witnesses give deposition on my behalf. I especially recall how
Mrs. Alice (Gusha) Perscio wrote me to say that she wanted to
testify on my behalf against Weber and McCormick.
This made me
think. I recalled how Perscio told me that “they hated you.” It
dawned on that she was speaking about Moylan, Reidy, Weber
(Marshall) and Mary Ann Allen, sister of Suzanne (Allen) Joslyn.
This group was part of the parish youth group that was in conflict
with another gang in the youth group (Ararat Street Gang). This was
a major problem that I faced in running the parish youth group.
There was the distinct factor of two towns (Worcester and Holden)
that were the parish boundaries. The Ararat Street group lived a few
streets in the Worcester section. They would not cooperate with
anyone else. Then you had this other group that lived up the road
from the Church. There was a constant tension going on in the youth
group. Besides this, I had to face the Monday morning read-out by
the Pastor of broken items, trash etc report from the parish
custodian. I was considering closing the drop-in center for the sole
reason that it was not what we were supposed to be doing as a
Church. Therefore, each group had its agenda and I was planning to
take away their Sunday Night activity. It was unpopular. But,
something had to be done in a positive nature or close it down.
April 17, 1996
What I was
hearing from Attorney Carey was that I have to accept what Worcester
wants- my resignation from the St. Edward’s as pastor. I didn’t know
what was underneath the allegations or who was backing them up. It
was pre-planned. Yes! The whole thing was pre-planned. I was in
Limbo. This is what Worcester Chancery Gang wanted. They were
stalling. Carey did say to me that he “would have been able to clear
me.” He instantiated that this would have taken more investigation
and money on his part. Worcester, according to Carey, was only
looking out for Rueger. I was a non-person that Worcester wanted
April 23, 1996
letter was sent from Attorney Flammia to Attorney Carey. This was to
confirm the deposition of Bishop Rueger (May 20, 1996) and myself
(May 23, 1996) at Flammia’s Office. There was, also, written “Please
not, we have not received final confirmation from Abbey Weber
regarding her deposition dates of May 2 and 3, 1996 at Attorney
Goulka’s office.”17 I don’t believe Weber gave a disposition.
April 26, 1996
I felt like I
was being used by the Worcester Chancery as Attorney Carey called me
as “Worcester’s Poster Boy.”
questions were more interesting especially about Bishop Rueger. Why
did Attorney Carey tell me that the Worcester Chancery wanted only
to protect Rueger? Besides this, why did the Diocese like to erase
me and treated me as a “non-person.” Besides all I knew about Bishop
Harrington, Monsignor Manning and other clerics, there was nothing
of care towards me.
Why did the Diocese release
information that I went to treatment in the Worcester Telegram
Gazette? Who leaked information from the Diocese to Fr. Robert
Shaurais that they “paid the girls-off and don’t want to put me
back.” Why in January of 1993 did Bishop Harrington say to Tinsley
for me to hear “Ed, that sign (TGB) won’t be there much longer? This
was when the Bishop visited St. Edward’s for a Deanery presentation.
Why was Rueger trying to smell my breath overtime he had a contact
with me? Why was Rueger asking me over and over again about Patty
Mulleins sequence? Conversation starter or what? Patty Mullins was a
high school girl at St. George’s with Rueger living next room to me
in the rectory Why did Harrington assign me to Fr. Paul Foley,
Pastor, at Holy Family of Nazareth, Leominster?
Fr. Paul Foley was a
full-blown alcoholic. It was common knowledge. How big of a “hate
group” was there at St. George’s against me in the youth group? Mrs.
Alice (Gusha) Piscio told me about it and that Kevin Moylan was the
ringleader. Moylan never showed up for his deposition. Why did Fr.
Lynch react with an answer of “Just by chance” comment whenever I
mentioned that Bishop Harrington kept telling me that “your guilty
till proven innocent”? This was not “just by chance” where Bishop
Harrington said this to me at least 4 or 5 times in format of
witnesses- Rueger and Tinsely.
April 27, 1996
I was getting
advice from many different avenues. Mrs. Joanne Curtin told me about
her contacts at Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Yankee
Magazine. She told me she had contacts in each publication. I
said I did not think at this time that it was a good idea. She
reacted, “Yet, you don’t want to go to the media. You’re wrong!”
May 3, 1996
National Catholic Reporter of May 3rd an article
entitled “Clergy sex abuse scandals continue to surface.” The
article reported “The ongoing crisis of sexual abuse by the clergy
continues to rock the church. New allegations have surface in
Florida and Indiana, while the wounds of a Canadian abuse scandal
that broke in the early 1990’s continue to fester in Toronto and
May 5, 1996
in a recent telephone conversation said, “Kardas is still focused on
coming back!” The gossip mill was spreading like this through the
Diocese. This was a very prevalent atmosphere with Bishop
Harrington. The gossip of priests was the norm because of how the
Worcester Chancery operated with their brother priest. You never
were surprised what priest were saying about each other.
May 14, 1996
I received a
packet of documents for my perusal for my scheduled deposition of
June 11, 1996.
copies of Abbey Weber letters of April 23, 1996 and May 24, 1993.19
These two letters were most likely were written by a legal authority
according to Fr. Lynch and Fr. Kiely.
There were 53
documents in this packet for me to review. Only 13 documents
(letters) pertained to the immediate situation the other 40
documents (letters) were from my seminary time and steps to the
priesthood. In this material, there was nothing in letters or
complaints against my character or otherwise.
(letter) in this packet was from Abbey M. Weber. When I was pursuing
it, Weber wrote, “Beginning in 1970-1971, when I was twelve…. I
trust that you will understand that three years of sexual abuse
beginning when I was twelve has been haunting me for the past twenty
years.”20 This is where “fuzzy numbers” were being used. The
allegation on Weber’s part against me was baseless and faceless. My
eyes opened widely. The reason I say this is that I didn’t know
Abbey M. (Marshall) Weber at this age as an individual. When I was
at the first assigned as Associate Pastor, I was given the duty of
running the Catholic Youth Group. The parish Catholic Youth Group
was for high school aged parish students. No way would Weber have
been around the group or parish. It was strictly high school student
age, exclusively. Besides weekly religious education (CCD) classes,
there was nothing in the parish for anyone in the age bracket of
twelve years of age. The class structure was a school setting with
me only seeing students when they were dismissed to get on the
school buses to go home. Then, when Weber was attending college at
the University of Maine in Orno, Maine, invited me a couple of times
to come up to the college and visit her. (This would have not have
been a day trip from Worcester area.) Then there was her visit, with
her family, to me at St. Peter’s Rectory on Holy Saturday. I was
doing a pastoral sick call visit to St. Vincent’s Hospital in
Worcester. But, she wrote me a note that said, “Sorry, we missed
you.” This was in 1983. Haunting?
One of these
documents had a listing of my parish assignments in the Diocese of
Worcester. My eyes became large when I read on this form- MAY 1993:
LEAVE OF ABSENCE. Then an underlined statement: DO NOT GIVE OUT
WITHOUT BISHOP RUEGER’S PERMISSION. No one ever mentioned that I
was on “Leave of Absence.”21 I was told that I was on
“Administrative Leave.” This “Leave of Absence” is a canonical term
that means that I initiated everything. I never did. This is the
work of the Chancery. Fr. Robert Shauaris was telling people that
“Kardas is trying to get back into the Diocese.” When I first heard
this rumor, it did not make sense. But, when I saw the “Leave of
Absence” statement, I realized the distortion the Chancery Gang was
doing to my character and situation. I, always, understood that if
a priest had a “Leave of Absence,” it was the priest that initiated
this and was leaving active ministry. I never requested or even
hinted at this. I wanted everything placed on the table with my
Carey wanted to meet with me at his office to prepare for the
deposition. I had no idea what a deposition was. This was a first
for me. My main question Carey was how does a deposition work?
Did I anticipate questions?
How to answer questions? Was I able to refer at any time to my
defense attorney for advice?
May 17, 1996
The National Catholic
Reporter published an article, “HBO program on sex and priests
denounced by church officials,” by Tom Roberts- NCR Staff, page 5 of
the May 17, 1996 issue. The program, “Priestly Sins: Sex and the
Church,” had A.W. Richard Sipe being central to the program. Msgr.
Francis J. Maniscalco, director of communications for the U.S.
Catholic Conference wrote a letter to Jeff Bewares, HBO president,
and a shorter communiqué to all diocesan communication directors
which the article said, “The church, said Maniscalco, has not
engaged in a cover-up. ‘If there has been a cover-up, it has been
done by the media.’”
opened my eyes wider because I noticed for my first time the phrase
“cover-up” and Richard Sipe’s name. Sipe was an inactive priest who
is married, doing interviews and writing to give the priest sexual
abuse issue a much broader analysis, according to him, of the priest
May 19, 1996
Williamson, of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, wrote a
column, “Misconduct by priest is alleged: Diocese lacked rules for
sex abuse cases,” In this article, I read that Rev. Brendan
O’Donoghue was alleged. O’Donahue was the priest that bumped me from
being assigned to St. Matthew’s, Northboro. The story was that
O’Donoghue was going to be assigned to St. Edward’s, Westminster. He
visited the parish and observed the conditions and refused to take
the assignment. The rectory and the property were a disaster. So,
the story goes that Bishop Harrington switched the lines on
transfers with me being switched to Westminster from Northboro. It
continued my wondering of what was going on in the Diocese after
hearing about this switch with O’Donoghue. Fr. O’Donaghue’s story,
according to this article, went back to 1954 (42 years before the
latest allegations) that he had been accused of inappropriate sexual
contact with a child.22 By the way, when my Diocesan file was given
to the lawyers, there was not one previous or any type of
What I didn’t
understand that after Fr. Brendon O’Donoghue was alleged and placed
on Administrative Leave. He was able to get retirement status and
monthly pay in addition to obtain housing for clergy in Shrewsbury.
It was called the Southgate Retirement Residence. This was a very
classy, plushy location. How was he able to do this with Bishop
Harrington? How much different type of standards was there in this
Chancery for priest on Administrative Leave? I was placed on
Administrative Leave by the Diocese and not given any assistance
beside a minimums monthly compensation and told that they would get
in contact with me. I was placed in limbo.
May 24, 1996
The National Catholic
Reporter continued the information debate by Tom Roberts writing
“HBO show stirs sex abuse debate: true problem or media invention?”
23 The article stated “The church, meanwhile, has not collected any
compressive data on the number of priest involved in sexual abuse,
nor the number that has been involved with minors.” This may have
been what Fr. Lynch mentioned to me that “there is a dragnet going
through the water.” A number of published works ad media programs
were, at this time, becoming the interesting discussion topics
May 28, 1996
Curtin spoke with me by phone to tell me about the rumor mill in
Westminster; it seemed that Bill Griffin, a member of St. Edward’s
told her that “Fr. Kardas had a drinking problem.” I knew that
Griffin had a connection with his wife’s priest relative that worked
in the Worcester Chancery. It was this defamation of character issue
that was beginning to swirl around me.
May 30, 1996
I met with
Attorney Carey in his Boston Office. This was a couple hours of
traveling time on my part from my residence in Gardner. I had
prepared a list of 15 points to update Attorney Carey. These points
were directed towards the Diocese, Rueger, Lynch and Weber.24
from Fr. Lynch that I recalled was where I had to go for a
deposition, Lynch said, “You (Ted) now have to face the lawyers.
This is your trail.” I never followed through with other questions
that I outrunning to his remark. What I should have asked was “What
do you mean by that?”
was for my preparation of deposition, discussion of rules, facts,
possible testimony and procedures. It lasted nearly 3 hours.
giving the list of information I had prepared to share to Attorney
Carey, he related a number of issues. He told me that Worcester
(Chancery) knows that I was angry especially being called a
“pedophile: by Bishop Harrington. He told me that Worcester was
using me as a Poster Boy. According to him, Worcester was standing
up to the lawyers but destroyed my professionally. He gave me the
observation that Bishop Harrington was spending all his time doing
depositions. He observed that Bishop Harrington was not well coached
very well for the depositions or didn’t listen. He asked me a key
question? Did I want to turn on them (Diocese)? We talked before of
Bishop Harrington’s drunk driving accident and how everything
exploded on my particulars because I knew too much. Carey made a
strong remark towards me: “ You haven’t even started to tell your
talked about the deposition, itself, Carey was specific. He said you
answer with “Yes. No. I do not remember. I have no recollection.
I asked about
“blackouts.” Carey suggested that I not frequently revert to such an
that I should think about the future. He wondered if I would have
though about teaching? I questioned this with these types of
allegations. He said, “We can fix that!” Oh?
He told me
that he did not want me to read the deposition transcripts of
McCormick or the others that were given against me before the
When we were
finishing this meeting, Carey’s last question to me as I was at the
door to leave was: “Why is Bishop Rueger so jealous of you?” I,
only, looked over my glasses at him. I was saying a lot more by not
saying anything at that point.
saying to him that I wanted my life back with my personal rights.
June 6, 1996
I sent Fr.
Lynch a copy of the document of my Diocesan assignments with the
“Leave of Absence” statement. I wrote a note to him for FYI
explaining that this was in my file. I wrote “Oh?”25 He never talked
about this document or ventured to give any type of explanation.
Were we in uncharted waters where no one is sure of who is on first
or what is on second?
June 11, 1996
going to be my Black Tuesday? This was my deposition day. I had to
report to Attorney Carey’s Office for 8:00 a.m. and deposition to
begin at 9:30 a.m. I offered Mass in my room at 5:00 a.m. The
scheduled time was to be from 9:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. for 1 hour lunch
specifics that Attorney Carey addressed with me were his preparation
for and meet with me, attended and defended me at the deposition,
meeting with me after the disposition, had discussion with counsel.
He billed me for approximately 7 hours professional service.
In our prep
meeting before the deposition, I asked Carey from a legal point if I
was not sure, he explained that it did not happen. I should have
answered “No.” He said that I should listen to the question and
answer it truthfully. He said, “be a priest. Just be yourself.”
This was his last statement to me before we entered the room for the
attorney’s present was Flamino (McCormick), Joanne Goulka (Diocese
of Worcester), a male attorney representing Reardon’s Office, Carey
(Kardas) and a stenographer. This was located at Attorney Carey’s
Office in Boston.
I hoped that
my right was going to be addressed. I wanted to prove that I was not
Worcester’s (Diocese) Poster Boy.
the main questioner. There were a number of questions after who are
you and position on his part about alcoholism, It was obvious that
he did not understand or have an overview of alcoholism. But, I
thought he was hitting the questions towards the diocese and my
character and training. I answered that I had gone to Assumption
College, Worcester for an MA in Psychology and Counseling. Flamino
asked me if I remembered visiting McCormick’s home. I answered,
“Yes. But I didn’t remember her. He, also, asked if ever took Abbey
Weber out of school. “No,” was my answer. Then he questioned me
about my contact with the Diocese: When was the last time the
Diocese spoke with you? I answered that it had been some time since
I heard from the Diocese.
for lunch. Carey and myself went our way. He said, “You are doing
very well. Yu know what is coming next.” He then said to me “We
don’t want to black the Diocese at this point!” He, also, spoke, “We
need to get you out of your present living situation and out in the
public.” I said, “Yes! But clear my name!” Carey answered, I know.”
He said that the group in that room knows you’re telling the truth
by your honest answers. Carey then asked me if one can get to be an
alcoholic so fast as I year. I said, it was a long going process. He
asked if I learned that from AA meetings? I recall that I had begun
drinking a coupe year before while in the Seminary dong pastoral
work. Carey told me that he couldn’t wait to let them (attorney’s)
meet Fr. Lynch.
began by directing a question if I understood the definition of a
minor means under 18? Do you understand that, Fr. Kardas, as we
talk? I answered “Yes.” What about kids in my room? I answered that
they just charged up the steps into my quarters for TV or listening
to my stereo. (Carey told me after that I was supposed to say that
the shoal not has been in my room. You were trying to be one of the
kids. Understanding the times issue, he said I should have said no
one was to be in my room.)
me, “Have you, Fr. Kardas, ever broke you vow of celibacy?” I asked
for a clarification to Attorney Carey. Flamino said, “Fr. Kardas,
are you refusing to answer the question?” Carey answered that there
needed to be a clarification from a Canon Lawyer. Flamino
responded, “He would have to answer it to the judge!” Attorney Carey
said to Flamino that he could set-up a telephone conference call
with Fr. Lynch who is a Canon Lawyer. I called Fr. Lynch the next
day. When I said the question of Flamino about celibacy, Lynch said
that Flamino is confusing celibacy with chastity. Lynch told me that
I should have told Flamino that “I had not done or had any
inclination with kids which we’re talking about years and years ago.
Chastity is church law and divine law.”
me about alcoholism. The question was to the effect that was it
possible to get drunk by taking one or two drinks? I answered “Yes!”
Then, I refereed to Carey. Carey asked Flamino if he would have
liked to have Dr. Zeman scheduled to give a deposition? Flamino did
not answer this question. After, the deposition, Carey said to me
about this question with his question that it “couldn’t be the way
you’re described being intoxicated to alcohol. You learned that from
AA?” I answered Carey that it is a fact of an alcoholic having one
or two drinks and being drunk. The principle is that it continues
from the last drink. This is how the body functions.
Goulka questioned me about McCormick. She seemed to suggest that it
was weird issue of McCormick coming with her daughter in 1992 to St.
Edward’s for First Communion. I answered “Yes.” I was able to get it
in about McCormick working at GE in Fitchburg with Bob Chatrand.
Then, I was able to input how Msgr. Collette, in Fitchburg, was
undermining my ministry in Westminster. Collette was, also, a member
of the Diocesan Priest Personal Board and advised Bob Chatrand of
St. Edward’s concerning my pastoral undertaking at the parish.
questions were asked from the any of the lawyers. The right to raise
questions later on was requested and stated by each lawyer
led me back to his office, he said that the deposition was cut
short. It did not run the full time that was scheduled. He looked
foreword to Rueger’s reaction after he read a transcript of my
deposition. He said, “you did just fine!” Carey concluded that I
should have driven home carefully because I had survived this
The next step
for me according to Carey was to be when I received a copy of the
transcript, read and correct any answers and mail it back to Carey.
very professional and personal. He did represent me with significant
quality and character.
When I was
driving back from the deposition, I especially reflected about the
Youth Group perspective. Now, we have to keep in mind that it was
the early ‘70’s which was as Fr. Lynch said “years and years ago.”
The Catholic Youth Group was for high school age parishioners. In my
work as Priest Director, there was a weekly drop-in center, trips,
retreats and other projects. People were always around the parish
going in and out at all times to my place.
answered Attorney Flamino question if I had anyone in my bedroom, I
answered “Yes” because people would just come in the rectory side
door and proceed to my “quarters.” Attorney Carey said to me, after
the deposition, that I answered Flagman’s question wrongly. It was
the truth, which had to be kept in context. These quarters was where
we watched TV, listened to music on my stereo. In plain English-
just hung around. The quarters were one large unit that also, had my
office desk, files, personal books, priestly professional equipment
and bed. Fred Heiress, a friend and parishioner, in one of our
coffee rides, said “Everyone was up in my room (quarters).”
It was the
parish-gathering place because I used to be on “duty by watching the
phone and answer the front (office) door.” So, people, young and
old, visited constantly.
One must not
forget that this was “years and years ago.” The atmosphere changed
after the ‘70s. Therefore, youth work was not the same. No way did I
operate a Youth Group, as was done at St. George’s, Worcester.
June 16, 1996
interesting observation was made at this time: Rueger had no
schedule, announcements, and pictures or anything in the Diocesan
Catholic Free Press for 2 weeks. It would mean 3 weeks off the
job. People were asking, “Where is George?” He just dropped out.
Interesting. If he was in Hartford at IOL. I would have taken him a
I made this
observation because Rueger never took time for a day- off, vacations
or anything else. He was always in the office. So, this made me
wonder of what might have happened or was going on. There was no
mention of Rueger at all in the Diocesan paper or rumor mill.
June 25, 1996
with Fr. Lynch, I used his description of my case with the Diocese
as “The Duck Bumped the Goose’s Ass” for a subtitle of my personal
journal. Fr. Lynch, besides his professional ability, had a
penetrating sense of humor. So, a remark as he said to me about my
case was that “Kardas bumped Harrington.” This re-interpreted was
that I was standing up to my Bishop. I recalled how Lynch said to me
after I was released from IOL with my evaluation, “Do you realize
what you have here?”
July 12, 1996
I spoke with
Fr. Lynch by phone. He began by asking me, “How are you and that
$1,000 lawyer doing? He addressed the issue of my celibacy and
chaste. He reiterated that I absolutely did not violate to my
knowledge any act against my chastity especially the federal, civil
Lynch was in
a rare, supportive role of information for me to ponder with such
comments and insights.
another bill from Attorney Carey for services until June 30, 1996.
One part of this bill of 6/12/96 was” Prepare for and attend
depositions of Kevin Moylan and continued deposition of plaintiff
Carol McCormick (postponed)” 26 I never heard or read anything about
July 22, 1996
atmosphere was developing to a more printed information concerning
abuse. In Crux of the News: The Specialized News and Information,
Which You Need In Your Work for the Church of July 22, 1996. The
article stated” Limited civil sex-abuse suits in RI: In alleged
sex-abuse civil suite re abuse occurring before July 1993 only
individual who perpetrated abuse can be sued. Decision (3-1) by
Rhode Island Supreme Court should lead to dismissal of lawsuits
against diocese, current Bishop LE Glena and former auxiliary now
Burlington VT Bishop Angell. Issue involved statue of limitations on
non-perpetrating parties in pedophilia cases following change in
state law extending limitations from 3 years to 7. Current RI Law re
civil suits applied in only individuals accused can be a defendant.
Bishop Gelineau asked continued prayers for victims, loved ones,
those who cause harm, Church and community—all who are in need of
August 8, 1996
I received a
business envelope with a typed label from Worcester Chancery Office.
It contained a letter to priest from Bishop Reilly that announced
the creation of a Pastoral Care Committee and promulgated the
Policies and Procedures of the Pastoral Care Committee.28
Enclosed a the policy itself in a leaflet format. What was
interesting was that I was not receiving the monthly priestly
information packet. But, I did get this in a separate mailing. The
Diocese was treating me as a non-person
August 9, 1996
I spoke with
Fr. Lynch on the phone. I had questions of why I was being totally
blindsided. I, again, raised the issue that the rumor mill in the
Diocese by the two bishops and a few priests being an attack on my
personality. What were his suggestions to address the issue of
“defamation of character.” Issue. If there was any internal
investigation, what rights did I have? I found out that Bishop
Rueger was conducting it.
August 14, 1996
Curtin of St. Edwards’ wrote Bishop Reilly. In her letter she says
“Once again our small faith group met on Monday to discuss the
scriptures for the upcoming week. Isaiah writes “’Maintain justice
and do what is right.’ Matthew brings a Canaanite woman pleading for
her child. The Apostles want to send her away. She pleads further
crumbs that fall from the table.” She continued her letter, “What do
the people of St. Edwards have to do for peace and justice and
resolution to our situation? Another 3 yrs?”29
August 19, 1996
a hot media issue. The U.S. News & Report carried the article
“Life after the lawsuits: They took their employers to court. They
won. But it’s not over.” 30 A number of people that knew me said
that this is what I should do. What they don’t realize is that a
priest can not sue his bishop. But, the atmosphere for litigation is
so prevalent that was what I heard for reaction of my case.
August 27, 1996
I was told
that at St. Anthony’s parish, Fitchburg, the people were praying for
Fr. Peter Inzarrello, pastor in their weekend “Prayer of the
Faithful.” Fr. Inzarrello was alleged of sex abuse and was, also, on
Administrative Leave, similar to my status. Nothing was ever done
like this at my parish, St. Edwards. Again, hearing such things made
the isolation that my more difficult. There was loneliness. But, I
was able to deal easier with that than isolation. It did bring to
mind what Attorney Carey mentioned about being Worcester’s Poster
Boy. Somewhere, I have to be able to tell my story.
August 28, 1996
I did my regular trip to
Hartford for my two appointments. This time, I only had scheduled
with Dr. Zeman at 3:15 p.m. Fr Kiely’s appointment was cancelled.
Dr. Zeman told me that Kiely had been diagnosed with cancer and was
receiving treatment. Jack Kiely was very supportive of me in my
evaluation time and afterward. I was comfortable dealing with him.
He did give words of encouragement.
I was trying
to connect the dots of what was coming down on me.
I raised the
issue what Rueger said in one of the Bishop’s Residence meetings,
“You’ll never be alone, again.” My reaction to Dr. Zeman was Rueger
was putting a smoke screen up for Harrington and Msgr. Manning. I
felt this Worcester Gang wanted my gone. Period. Now, my situation
was becoming a “boom-arang” on them. This may be why Attorney Carey
remarked that the Worcester Chancery knew I was angry.
talked about another insight that kept working in my mind. It was
Fr. Roberge’s letter to Bishop Reilly saying: “When the time
comes….” This was hitting buttons on me because I felt that
everything was “sealed and delivered.”
Dr. Zeman was
now introducing me to his new approach “What type of work can you
do?” I emphatically responded that I was a priest and will be a
priest. What I didn’t say was if the Worcester Chancery Gang tries
to have me defrocked as a priest, I would go to Rome. This means
that I would request a hearing to the Vatican Clergy Congregation.
What made the issue more sensitive was that I was a PP (Permanent
Pastor). Pedone and his circle tried to demoniac this anytime I
raised the issue.
September 1, 1996
One thing people were telling
me about St. Edward’s was that there is no public forum or
information give by the Temporary Administrator (Fr. Roberge). There
was no Parish Council meeting, Liturgy Committee, a Finance
Committee meeting. Nothing was public People even notice that the
two scheduled AA meetings were not taking place at St. Edward’s. No
one was able to get an answer to this or any questions asked.
of communication was consistent with what the Worcester Chancery
Office had been doing. The question should have been asked if these
non-actions were mistakes or miscalculations on the Temporary
Administrator in conjunction with the Chancery Staff? Parishioners
were just waiting with held breaths of what came next. They were not
the only ones. My whole ministry and career were in a similar mode
I did realize
is that is how the Chancery fancied with any cirrus. Time was always
on their side. They used it to the full extent. The Chancery Gang
was the group that gave me my “Pearl Harbor.” I had to especially
watch, at this time, the fox that was in the hen house, Fr. Rocco
Piccolomini (Diocesan Vicar for Clergy).
September 2, 1996
that I received with the Pastoral Care Committee Policy was give to
the media in a press release. This article that was printed in
Worcester Telegram & Gazette explained the procedure anyone
wanted to report as sexual abuse. 31
immediately, mailed a copy of this article with a cover letter to
Attorney Carey. I asked him to “please call me and update me on my
September 12, 1996
I was feeling
the three-year being separated from my people in the parish and the
isolation of the Diocese. I was hearing that even the lay parish
leaders didn’t want to put Fr. Roberge for a Parish Pastoral Council
What I had to
experience has to be said that I cooperated to the best of my
ability. It had one goal on my part, proving my innocence.
I didn’t know
what the next step was going to be. Was it going to trail or what? I
had to take it from there. But, I had to fight to be allowed to
“Ted, you’re must put out because (Bishop) Harrington addressed the
issue.” Then another story came to me how Bishop Rueger told Mrs.
Linda Norman of Westminster, “He’ll (Fr. Kardas) never be back
because of case like this.” Added to these comments, I noticed that
Fr. Picclomini was not sending me any more Mass Stipends for me to
Carey did say to me “we got to get you out in public.” The isolation
issue I kept reiterating time and time again to him in our meetings.
Besides that I kept thinking how in one of these meetings I said the
stigma. Carey said, "He can fix that." Nothing was ever done.
September 19, 1996
I was told
that St. Edward’s Faith Community (Parish) had been buried. It was
“dead.” One of the reasons given was how the Temporary Administrator
did business with cash. There was no financial reports given to the
parishioners. Rumor had it that there were 5 families that did
everything at the parish. There didn’t seem to have been any public
communication by the rectory or Diocese. Whatever happened to St.
Edward’s Mission Statement or goals that were followed by printed
September 24, 1996
There was a
short article in Worcester Telegram & Gazette today about
“Bishop Harrington undergoes procedure to detect brain tumor- the
biopsy was performed Wednesday after neurological tests indicated
the possibility of a tumor.”33 I knew nothing about this for I was
out-of-the-loop. This was an isolation that I wondered what was
really going on with my particulars. It was nerve racking.
People at St.
Edward’s were talking about Pamela Swedberg and her power play
personality. It seems she had established a desk in the rectory. She
had portrayed the Temporary Administrator with “hot button”
techniques to portray the priest to be looking good with different
statistics. Swedberg was image building. She was the type of
personality that whatever she did was more ego-centered with
financial overviews. One example was how a parishioner whose
spirituality was on the fringe, was conducting weekly “prayer”
services in the church proper. The administrative and few committee
works were being conducted by 5 families doing their “own parish
agenda.” It was observed by Mrs. Lola Leger that Swedberg kept
telling anyone asking anything by saying “Call Father! Ask Father!”
September 27, 1996
appointment with Dr. Zeman had him addressing for the first time
that we should take what type of work that I may be able to do? I
became very defensive because that would mean that it would be the
end of my priesthood. The issue of more questions was now most
important? What I mean was, what about my case, when was I able to
defend my particulars? The key issue was that others were deciding
my life. There was nothing discussed with me at all.
I was writing
my journal with more significance and concern. What was really going
October 23, 1996
I received a
letter under my residence door addressed to Thaddeus J. Kardas at 41
Lawrence Street, Gardner. It had a return address of Swedberg,
Westminster. Pamela Swedberg knew my address and that I was always
addressed with Rev. (Father). . She didn’t even write Rev. Thaddeus
J. Kardas. It only had my name. I recognized her handwriting on the
I opened the
letter and it was addressed to the “Editor T & G.” It began “Now
that the law requiring all convicted sex offenders is in force,
perhaps it is time to look beyond that law and require al those
accused of sex crimes and awaiting trail to register their
whereabouts as well. The reason this is a concern is that two years
ago news broke that the former pastor of the Westminster Church,
Father Kardas, was accused of sexual misconduct. As he has been gone
from the parish for year before the charges surfaced, it never
occrued to me that he might be living in the area. I now hear rumors
that are the case. In fact I hear that he might be living in the
area. I now hear that he never left the area after he left the
parish. Is there any way I can find out? (Signed) Concerned,”34
buckets (anxiety) filled-up when I read this letter. I immediately
called my civil lawyer in Boston to ask his advice concerning the
contents of the letter. I was upset in making this call. He was not
in. I left a message with his secretary for him to call me of a
matter of regency. He did not return my call. The letter never did
appear in Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
mind was racing with anxious questions. What was Swedberg doing with
this type of correspondence? Something else was happening as that I
had no idea which way the current was flowing in Cape Cod Cannel.
One analysis was that Swedberg was expressing her personal thoughts
by the “Letter to T&G.” In a side note, Swedberg was trying to be my
right hand in the parish with RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of
Adults) implementation. Obviously, she had other objectives in her
October 31, 1996
Keena, Jr. wrote another letter to Bishop Reilly. Again, he wrote in
this letter, “I sincerely implore you to return Father Kardas to St.
Edward’s, which in itself would convey a message to his parishioners
that a terrible injustice was being rectified.”35 There was such
matter still being carried to the Worcester Chancery on my behalf.
Keena never heard from Bishop Reilly.
November 4, 1996
Fitzgerald called me. She told me that she attended Mass at St.
Edward’s the previous weekend. She had moved to Cape Cod in 1993.
While living in Westminster, previously, she had been active in the
liturgy (Worship). She said that “Mass was not the same.” She talked
about everything was being rushed. The Mass to her did not have the
polish or dignity that was her previous experience with me
that were different were how the Parish Resource Room was dedicated
and renamed “The Angelo (Mike) Quarella Room.” Fr. Roberge with Pam
Swedberg had his wife, Irene, gathered his and her family together
for a brief ceremony of dedication of this room. Irene Quarella was
a study in her at the parish. Roberge and Swedberg pulled this
re-dedication which was contrary to all previous naming of rooms,
building, stained glass windows, classrooms and all matters. The
general principle was that if any contributions made were to have
been part of a general fund. No individual or family name was to be
recognized but only on the “Church Renovation Plaque” and the Faith
Community Center’s “Giving Tree.” Now certain individuals changed
things to name by person or families specified items or areas.
realized at this time while I was writing my daily journal of my
recent experiences was that I had to begin writing more in a
manuscript format. I began to organize my journal, notes, papers,
articles, books and other material into a systematic order. I had to
decide how I wanted to put all of this into such a written text.
November 7, 1996
called me from Palmer. There was a letter from Robinson & Cole,
Boston. My immediate reaction was one of anxiety. I became weak
where I sat in the chairs in my room. Why I felt as such is that I
had an intuition of something was happening with my case. Before I
read the letter, I knew that I had to slow my mind and look what was
in this letter. This reaction was consistent of what happened each
time I received when certain individuals wrote or called me about my
case. It was the “fear buckets” being filled or kicked-over empty.
One thing I
did learn was that I was able to take the lead by gathering all the
information, analyzing this information, keeping all of this in
focus and cooperate with my team (Lawyers, doctor and Confessor)
was from Attorney Carey. It said “Abbey Weber’s deposition was
scheduled to start, but was postponed by plaintiffs on the ground
that they would like to spend time conducting settlement discussions
before too much more time was spent on discovery. Plaintiffs’ attire
has suggested that some form of “mediation” be considered in the
event that the attorneys for the parties cannot settle the case
between themselves. The Diocese has indicated that it will not
participate in mediation, essentially because its lawyers do not
feel it to be helpful in cases such as this. I will keep you
informed of any news I get of a settlement.”36
I didn’t know
what this really signified. No one called me or spoke with me of how
the legal ramifications would have developed. Because of this, I
felt the isolation begin anew. I waited and wondered- what was
November 8, 1996
next? There was talk in Westminster that Mrs. Swedberg was moving to
Pennsylvania. I, also, heard that this was not true where she was
leaving. This was related because of her work at St. Edward’s of
organizing everything going on from the rectory. Rumors were
November 13, 1996
Attorney Carey concerning his letter of November 7th. I
said, “I agree wholeheartedly witty your comments. (I have
represented that you do not have any assets to contribute toward
settlement, even if you were interested in doing so. I trust that
was an accurate statement on my part.) Keep me informed of what is
happening relative to my case.”37 Attorney Carey knew that I wanted
my name cleared of all allegations. I, also, wanted to be replaced
back into my parish and pastoral work.
wrote Fr. Lynch and Dr. Zeman. I sent then copies of Carey’s latest
letter. I asked them for any information they may share to respond
to Carey’s “settlement” information.
December 4, 1996
attended the North County Deanery Meeting at St. Edward’s Church
Hall. Fr. Roberge was showing-off the large TV set in the Church
Hall. Priest attending wanted to see the large screen TV that was
going for $1,200. It was all that many priest were talking about.
But, one had to wonder why the Diocese booked St. Edward’s for this
regional meeting. When I heard this, my thoughts were about internal
politics on all parties involved for image building.
December 5, 1996
We now learn that from the
Bishops’ national Office in Washington proposed that each Diocese is
to have an established Diocesan Sexual Abuse Committee. One has to
keep in mind that this is 3 ¾ years after I was called into the
Chancery in Worcester.
Curtin of St. Edward’s, Westminster wrote Bishop Rueger. She stated
“Our faith community is just a parish now. Our pastor is
never prayed for in the Prayer of the Faithful or mentioned for a
Christmas card in the bulletin. (Other Pastors are in their
parishes) This is very sad.”38 The Diocese was using the time
element of keeping me from my people and parish. This isolation was
creating an abyss between the people and myself. This was
Worcester’s technique. I’m sure that I was not the first Pastor that
had such an experience. Then, the Diocese can use some footnote in
Canon Law to remove me.
December 6, 1996
I had a rescheduled meeting
due to a snowstorm with Dr. Zeman. He told me that he tired calling
Attorney Carey after he received a copy of Carey’s November 7th
letter to find out what was its meaning. He told me that Carey
didn’t call back. But, Dr. Zeman said he would keep trying.
Telephone tag was being played. Worst than that, no one was
explaining anything to me.
December 11, 1996
called me. He first told me that Fr. Jack Kiely died on December 7th
and his funeral was conducted on December 11th. He then
talked with me that concerning my last Carey letter; he was not able
to get anyone or any information for me. Then he said, “You were a
good priest. You did good work.”
I noticed Dr.
Zeman was speaking in the past tense. I responded to him that I had
no more fear of dealing with the allegations or Diocese. I stated
that I would have to deal with the future with confidence.
December 12, 1996
I received in
the mail Robinson & Cole invoice for Attorney Carey services through
November 30, 1996. Now keeping things in perspective, I have not
heard from Attorney Carey besides the November 7th
letter. My eyes opened-up when I read the billing of 9/19/96-
Receipt and review various mailings from Kardas; schedule
depositions of remaining parties; telephone conference Goulka re it.
What was the telephone conference with Goulka all about? I never was
updated or told anything.
11/7/96- “Prepare for and attend deposition of plaintiff Weber
(postponed upon arrival at Goulka’s office); extended conference
Goulka re settlement; letter to Kardas re same and present status.”
Another situation, besides the letter, I was not told anything. When
I read this I questioned what “settlement.”
11/27/96, Attorney Carey billed me for “Telephone conference Goulka;
letter to all counsel re future depositions and scheduling of same.”
Again, I knew or was not told anything. Were decisions being made?
What were my rights if I had any?
December 13, 1996
Worcester Telegram & Gazette an article said “Judge allows
lawsuit: Fitchburg priest faces sex complaint (Rev Peter J.
Inzerillo and Rev. Brendon O’Donahue) on this day. The article said
that the “Statue of Limitations- In denying the motion, however, van
Gestel (Judge) said case law has established that the statue of
limitations in such cases does not begin until the plaintiff learns,
or reasonably should have learned, that he or she has been harmed by
a defendants conduct.”39
So, did this
fit my “allegations” or what? The two priests that this article
writes about had some interest towards me. Father O’Donahue was the
priest that bumped me out of my original Pastor assignment at St.
Matthews, Northboro. The other priest, Fr. Inzarello, who was my
classmate, was Diocesan Vocation Director in Bishop Harrington’s
Administration- Chancery Desk.
At this time,
I was wondering if the Diocese had an issue of revenge, punishment,
domination, and trying to shame me. I didn’t know what was fact or
day, Mrs. Joanne Curtin spoke with me in that she received a note
from Bishop Rueger to her last correspondence. He said “I hope thugs
improve for you at St. Edward’s.” She stated that it was all so
December 26, 1996
I received a
Christmas card from Fr. Roland Gamache. This was the first time any
priest either wrote or attempted to reach-out to me. I felt that I
was a “leper” in the Sacred Scriptures. I wrote back a note, “My
journey is so painful right now. Believe me, I am trying! I, also,
have to deal with my Canon Lawyer. Your caring concern is more than
You will even know.”40 in his card, he wrote that he cared about my
journey and hoped that trust was a factor that would be
re-established. I did give him a call to arrange for a luncheon
shopping and met Mrs. Patty (Curtin) Arsenault in the super market.
Patty was now a registered nurse and had been a member of St.
Edward’s for 20 years. She told me “There are strong personates in
charge at the parish. (St. Edward’s)
different readings, I found an extensive article on Clergy Sex
Abuse. The article was entitled “clergy Sexual Boundary Violates:
Toward an Outline of evaluation and Treatment,” in Chicago
Studies, December 1996 issue. It wrote, “In conclusion, we see
the complexity of the situation in which we find ourselves and the
great stakes riding on its healthy resolution. Amid the confusion,
fear, anger, obfuscation and polarization that have encumbered
efforts to identify and correct the systemic and individual problems
that led to the inures now reported, there has been a steady effort
by many to respond in love with competent treatment for victims and
read this with my eyes opened. I tied to connect dots to get
somewhat of a picture of what was happening. But, what I experienced
so far was the issue two different systems personifying “power and
authority.” I became the Worcester’s Poster Boy.