Monday, October 21, 2002

Connecticut priests apologize for hiding the whereabouts of an abuser

Howell, in his prepared statement to his congregation, said spending many hours in prayer and reflection in a monastic retreat outside Connecticut was helpful. He apologized for appearing to be insensitive to the victims of sexual abuse. Howell, 60, has been pastor of St. Joseph Parish since 1986.

"What I did or failed to do arose out of mistaken sense of fidelity to a person who had at one time been a brother priest," Howell said. "At no time did I anticipate that my occasional contacts with Laurence Brett would be a cause of harm to anyone. In acting out of a mistaken sense of fidelity, I made a prudential judgment that was wrong. I deeply regret this failure of prudence on my part and any harm it may have caused anyone."He also acknowledged that he had denied to a reporter that he had contact with Brett.

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