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Come With Me Through The Gates Of Heaven

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Poster Boy Priest

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1996

 

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 1996 

J

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?

                Fr. Lynch 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 legal fees.

                Fr. Lynch 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 get resolved.

                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.

                I recalled 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.

                Again, there were more questions than answers. 

January 19, 1996

                Mrs. Leola 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.”

                Another reason for having people like Mrs. Alice (Gusha) Pisecco to testify on my behalf on information she wanted to tell about Carol McCormick.  

January 9, 1996

                Attorney 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

                The key 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 credits. 

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

                Mrs. Joanne Curtin, a member of St. Edward’s Faith Community, wrote two letters. One letter was to Bishop Reilly. The other letter was to Bishop Harrington.

                The letter 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 friend.”5

                The other 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 Church.”6

                Obviously, Curtain showed the frustration of the parish and number of people beside myself. 

January 19, 1996

                Attorney 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.

                Amazing, how 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 priest….”9

                Here I read that path the Diocese would be taking with me. I was out there alone.  

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 my back. 

February 21, 1996

                Whenever I 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.

                Besides this 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 statement. 

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

                A frantic 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.

                Attorney 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.

                Carey then 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 past.

                He summarized 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?

                Carey wanted 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.”

                Attorney said 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 representative.

                Carey wanted 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

                Fr. Lynch 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.

                Again, 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.

                I realized 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

                After reading 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.

                Attorney 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

                With 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

                It was 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 St. Edward’s.

                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.

                I, only, 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 erased.  

April 23, 1996

                Another 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.”

                But, the 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

                In the 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 Ottawa.”18  

May 5, 1996

                Fr. Shaurais 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.

                I viewed 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.

                One document (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 case.

                 Attorney 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.’”

                This, also, 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 culture. 

May 19, 1996

                Dianne 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 complaints.

                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

                Mrs. Joanne 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

                The remark 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?”

                This meeting was for my preparation of deposition, discussion of rules, facts, possible testimony and procedures. It lasted nearly 3 hours.

                Besides me 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 story!”

                When we 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 answer.

                Carey said 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 deposition.

                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.

                I recalled 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

                Was this 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 break.

                Those 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 deposition

                That 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.

                Flamino was 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.

                We recessed 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.

                Then Flamino 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.)

                Flamino asked 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.”

                Flamino asked 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.

                Attorney 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. 

                No other questions were asked from the any of the lawyers. The right to raise questions later on was requested and stated by each lawyer

                When Carey 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 experience (deposition).

                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.

                Carey was 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.

                When I 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

                An 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 chocolate cake.

                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

                After talking 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 law.

                Lynch was in a rare, supportive role of information for me to ponder with such comments and insights.

                I received 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 Moylan’s deposition. 

July 22, 1996

                The 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 healing.”27 

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

                Mrs. Joanne 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

                Lawsuits are 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.

                I, also, 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.

                This approach 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 of uncertainty.

                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

                The envelope 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

                I, 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 case. “32 

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 Meeting.

                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 fight.

                I heard: “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 say mass.

                Yet, Attorney 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 policies.  

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

                This 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 on? 

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 envelope.

                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

                My fear 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.

                Obviously my 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 crosshairs. 

October 31, 1996

                John (Jack) 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

                Mrs. Lucille 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 celebrating Mass.

                Other issues 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.

                What I 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

                Stanley Giza 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)

                This letter 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 next? 

November 8, 1996

                What was 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 armpit. 

November 13, 1996

                I wrote 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.

                I, also, 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

                Bishop Reilly 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.

                Mrs. Joanne 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

                Dr. Zeman 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.

                Then on 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.”

                Lastly, on 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

                The 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 what wasn’t.

                This same 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 generic.  

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 appointment.  

                I was 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)

                In my 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 offenders alike.”41

                I 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.               

 
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