A protest against the Diocese of Bridgeport is being organized by Road to Recovery founder Robert Hoatson and others who allege past abuse by St. Thomas More’s parochial vicar.
According to a press release, the Saturday afternoon protest has been organized to call on the Diocese of Bridgeport to remove Father Robert Post “and keep him away from kids.”
The further purpose of the demonstration is to “alert parishioners and the public to the accusations of sexual abuse” against Father Post.
In addition to his work at St. Thomas More, Father Post also served as chairman of the Trinity Catholic High School Advisory Board in Stamford.
Allegations against Father Post are made by at least one former student at Blessed Sacrament High School in New Rochelle, where Father Post was stationed from 1976-79. At the time, Father Post was serving as a Christian Brother. Hoatson was stationed with then-Brother Post at the time and was also serving as a Christian Brother.
Brian Wallace, spokesman for the Diocese of Bridgeport, said the diocese was not aware of the the planned protest but said that information on Hoatson’s website, the Road to Recovery, has been challenged in terms of accuracy and the motivations behind it have been questioned. Calls to the office and the pastor at St. Thomas More were not immediately returned.
Wallace said Hoatson’s website was investigated and it was “full of inaccuracies and misrepresentations” and said a 2005 lawsuit filed by Hoatson was thrown out of court and and his attorney was sanctioned.
“Father Post is a priest in very good standing in our diocese and has served there for 20 years without a blemish or any impropriety,” Wallace said, adding Hoatson’s alleged accusations are “baseless and misleading.” Wallace added that Father Post had stepped down from his advisory position this summer because he had other responsibilities to attend to and clarified it had nothing to do with any of the allegations.
According to the press release, Hoatson said it took “three years of whistleblowing” to get Father Post transferred “because of Post’s behavior around teenage boys.” Hoatson claims he was then retaliated against for his whistleblowing and was transferred himself.
Hoatson reports that the abuse allegations come from three adult men, at least one is a former student at Blessed Sacrament. Hoatson outlined his experiences with Father Post, his observations and the retaliation he experienced in another lawsuit filed in 2007 that named the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Newark and the Diocese of Albany among its defendants.
“The three men filed claims against Post in the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings of the Irish Christian Brothers’ North American Province,” Hoatson reported in the press release for the protest.
The protest has been scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on the sidewalk outside of St. Thomas More. A press conference will be held at 4:15 p.m.
Lt. Don Anderson of the Darien Police Department said “there will be officers there so that the peace is not breached.”
“They will be on public property, and will not be stopping traffic,” he said, adding protestors will not be permitted to force anyone to listen or take their literature. “They will have to let people pass,” he said.