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Springfield Diocese To Report Sexual Assault Allegations

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield says it will report allegations of clergy sexually assaulting "vulnerable persons" in Western Massachusetts parishes to law enforcement.

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski has entered a "Memo of Understanding" with the district attorneys for Hampden, Franklin and Berkshire counties, according to a statement released Wednesday by the diocese's Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

Under the agreement, the diocese will notify the appropriate authorities if any employee, subcontractor or volunteer is accused of assaulting a vulnerable person.

Vulnerable people are defined in the document as children, people over 60 or any adult with a disability.

The agreement, which went into effect immediately, requires the diocese to disclose the name of the accused, the name and contact information of any victims and witnesses, and a summary of the allegations.

"Bishop Rozanski has made great strides to be transparent and accountable, but it still had to take four to five decades for this to happen," said Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan.

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