JUDGEFORDRETIRING

Daniel A. Ford, a retired Superior Court Judge, is a chair of the task force focused on abolishing sexual abuse within the Diocese of Springfield and improving victims assistance.

The Diocese of Springfield has created an online survey that community members can use to comment on its response to sexual abuse allegations and efforts to provide victim assistance. 

The survey, which can be found at diospringfield.org, will be available between Oct. 8 and Oct. 19, according to a news release from the diocese. 

The information gathered from the survey will be used by an independent task force, which will work to identify the actions needed to help survivors of sexual abuse. 

“We are hoping to reach the people in the pews as well as survivors and their family members, clergy, advocates, and the staff of the diocese to hear what they think we should be advocating,” Judge Daniel A. Ford, a retired Superior Court judge and chair of the task force, said in the release. 

Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Diocesan Office of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance by calling 413-452-0624, or by email at j.trant@diospringfield.org

Ford was tapped in May to lead the 10-person task force. He said at the time that the panel plans to take a wide look at the problem, including allegations that former Bishop Christopher J. Weldon abused parishioners while leading the diocese for 27 years.

Soon after, Weldon's abuse was confirmed in a study by another retired judge, Peter A. Velis.

In a May news conference, Ford said the group he leads will focus on holding the Roman Catholic diocese to account on how it has dealt with abuse allegations and to implement "meaningful changes."