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Priest Publicly Reprimanded After 1,000 Parishioners Protest

November 23, 1987|Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Roman Catholic priest whose policies prompted a protest by 1,000 of his parishioners was publicly reprimanded today by his archbishop and ordered to make reforms.

Archbishop John F. Whealon said the censure of Father Paul P. Wysocki of Sacred Heart Church in New Britain was apparently the first public reprimand ever in the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Parishioners demonstrated outside the church on Aug. 9 to protest the dismissal of an assistant priest, forcing the priest to cancel Masses that Sunday.

Whealon said the problems were severe enough for him to order the formation of a finance council and a parish council to be made up of parishioners to help run Sacred Heart. Wysocki agreed to stay at the parish and make the changes, the bishop said.

The fact-finders said the dismissal of the popular assistant was the immediate cause of the protest, but "dissatisfaction with the pastor had been simmering for years."

Parishioners complained that Wysocki was insensitive to the many Polish immigrants in the Sacred Heart community, had forced out many assistant priests and ran the parish in a dictatorial manner.

About 70% of the 10,000 parishioners are Polish-Americans, and the remainder are recent immigrants from Poland.

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