Fr. Richard Buongirno – Diocese of Norwich

| Aug 5, 2021 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Fr. Richard Buongirno

Diocese of Norwich

Ordained: 1984

Removed: 1998

Laicized: 2005

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1984: St. Joseph (New London, CT)
  • 1986: St. Mary (Portland, CT)
  • 1988: St. Philip the Apostle (Ashford, CT)
  • 1990: St. Matthias (East Lyme, CT)
  • 1993-1994: St. Johns (Old Saybrook, CT)
  • 1994: Received treatment at Institute for Living (Hartford: CT)
  • 1994: St. John (Cromwell, CT)
  • 1995-1999: St. Francis of Assisi (Middletown, CT)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Richard Buongirno:

Fr. Richard Buongirno was ordained to the priesthood in 1984, and served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Norwich. According to media reports, in 1991, a mother accused Fr. Buongirno of sexually abusing her 9-year-old son beginning in 1990 when the priest was assigned to St. Matthias where her son served as an altar boy. This first incident of abuse involving “John Doe” took place in the rectory of St. Matthias and continued for one year. Social services investigated the allegation and could not substantiate it.

Fr. Buongirno was arrested and charged with four counts of “felony risk of injury to a minor” in June of 1999 based on the 1991 allegation involving “John Doe.” In 2000, “John Doe” filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Norwich alleging that Fr. Buongirno sexually abused him over several years beginning in 1990 when he was an altar boy at St. Matthias through 1998 when he was a high school student. The Diocese of Norwich settled the suit with “John Doe” in 2003.

In 1994 a Massachusetts man notified the Diocese of Norwich that he had a three-year homosexual relationship with Buongirno that began when he was a 16-year-old high school student at St. Thomas More High School, where Buongirno was working as a lay teacher. When the diocese confronted Fr. Buongirno, he admitted to molesting the boy, and he was sent to the Institute for Living in Hartford, CT for treatment. After Fr. Buongirno completed treatment, he was reassigned to another parish where he was found with a boy in his bedroom. He was reassigned to a second parish where he was again found with a boy in his bedroom. Bishop Hart of the Diocese of Norwich released Buongirno from all priestly duties in 1998.

In 2019, the Diocese of Norwich publicly named Fr. Richard Buongirno on its list of “clergy with allegations of substance abuse of a minor.”

The current whereabouts of Richard Buongirno are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Norwich in Connecticut.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Connecticut, contact our office today. In July 2021, the Norwich Diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection.  The Court will resolve all claims of sexual abuse in this process but strict filing deadlines will apply and no late claims will be considered, so contact us today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Connecticut and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.