Assignment Record – Bishop Christopher Joseph Weldon

Summary of Case: Ordained a priest of the New York archdiocese in 1929, Weldon was a parish priest, boys' school chaplain and Navy chaplain. Upon his return from World War II, He was named master of ceremonies for Cardinal Spellman, who also named him executive director of Catholic Charities. Weldon was appointed Bishop of Springfield, MA in 1950, where he served until his 1977 retirement. He died in 1982. In 2005 Weldon was accused of having sexually abused a boy in the 1950s, when the boy was between 10 and 16 years of age. Weldon's accuser also claimed six other priests sexually abused him as a boy, including his uncle. His family denied the abuse. Springfield diocesan officials said there was nothing in their records to support the claims.

Ordained: Sept. 21,1929
Appointed: Bishop of Springfield, MA Jan. 28, 1950
Consecrated: March 24, 1950
Retired: October 15, 1977
Died: March 19, 1982


   

Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes
1929 1930 Catholic University Washington DC  

1930

New York archbishop was Patrick Joseph Hayes (1919-1938).

1931 St. Francis Assisi Mt. Kisco NY 2/2 St. Francis' had a school with 97 boys and 123 girls.

1931

Trenton bishop was John Joseph McMahon (1928-1932), followed by Moses Elias Kiley (1934-1940.)

1935 Newman School Lakewood NJ Chaplain Newman was a prep. school with 110-66 students, all boys.

1935

 

1936 St. John Chrysostom's White Plains NY 4/4 St. John's had a grade school with 354 boys and 340 girls, and a junior high school with 293 students, all girls.

1936

Francis Joseph Spellman succeeded Hayes as New York archbishop (1939-1967).

1941 Blessed Sacrament New York NY 6/6, 5/6 Blessed Sacrament had a grade school with 172-211 boys and 219-245 girls, and a high school with 288-326 students, all girls.
1941 1945 U.S. Navy     Chaplain  
1945 1949 Cathedral of St. Patrick New York NY 6/10, 8/12, 5/12 Weldon was given the title "Monsignor" in 1946.
1945 1947 Master of Ceremonies to the Cardinal New York NY    
1947 1950 Catholic Charities New York NY Executive Director Weldon was appointed Bishop of Springfield, MA on Jan. 28, 1950, and was consecrated March 24, 1950.

1950

Christopher Joseph Weldon was Springfield bishop (1950-1977).

1977 Bishop of Springfield

Springfield

Weldon was accused in a 2005 lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy three times when the boy was between ages 10 and 16, in the 1950s. The abuse is said to have occurred at St. Michael's Cathedral. Weldon allegedly fondled, orally copulated and anally penetrated the boy, and had the boy orally copulate him.

MA   Weldon's accuser also accused six other priests of sexual abuse, including his uncle. All were from the dioceses of Springfield or Worcester. The Worcester diocese said it investigated the claims several years previously, and found them to be unsubstantiated. Springfield church officials said there was "nothing in our records" to support the claims. The accuser's family members denied the accusations; a cousin said that the accuser's behavior changed at around age 10, after his father died and he was sent to stay with his priest uncle. The accuser went on in adulthood to rob banks and was convicted of the murder of a Texas man. He was in jail at the time of the lawsuit.

1977

Joseph Francis Maguire replaced Weldon (1977-1991).

1982 Retired/Bishop Emeritus Springfield MA   Weldon died March 19, 1982

 

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1930-1950)

Bishop Weldon Died; in Post 27 1/2 Years, Springfield Republican, March 19, 1982
Accused Clergy Had Influential Posts, By Stephanie Barry sbarry@repub.com, [Springfield MA] Republican, March 1, 2004
The diocese will seek fair and just settlements of abuse cases, By Bishop Thomas L. Dupré , Bishop of Springfield
Suit: Dupre Said Files Destroyed, By Bill Zajac wzajac@repub.com, The Republican, August 3, 2004
Burnett v. Bishop of Springfield, MA Superior Court No. 05-0331(B) March 29, 2005
Murderer Alleges Clergy Sex Abuse, By Bill Zajac wzajac@repub.com, The Republican, March 31, 2005
Killer Alleges Clergy Abuse, Former Bishop, 6 Others Named, By Kathleen A. Shaw, Telegram & Gazette, March 31, 2005
Church Defends Two Deceased Bishops Named in Sex Abuse Suit, The Associated Press, carried in Telegram & Gazette [Springfield MA], March 31, 2005
BA.org list of U.S. Accused Priests, April 14, 2008
Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield Probing 8 More Abuse Claims, By Stephanie Barry, The Republican, December 3, 2008



Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Weldon's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on Dec. 1, 2012


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