AP NEWS

Similar names leads to Stamford priest confusion

March 26, 2019

STAMFORD — After the Diocese of Bridgeport Friday added priest William R. Nagle to a list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse, some confusion arose in Stamford since the accused man shared a name with a beloved city clergyman.

William R. Nagle, who served at St. Clement in Stamford and St. Vincent Hospital in Bridgeport, among other places, was credibly accused of sexual abuse with a minor boy, according to the diocese. The long-dead priest committed the abuse in the early 1970s and the diocese reviewed and deemed claims credible earlier this year.

The accused is not Monsignor William Aloysius Nagle, a priest at The Basilica of St. John the Evangelist from 1973 to 1998.

“It is important to note that this is not the priest of a similar name, Monsignor William Aloysius Nagle, a priest of the Diocese ordained in 1949 with a long-distinguished career at many parishes,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano in a letter to parishioners.

The accused Nagle was ordained in 1955 and died in 1979, according to the diocese.

Monsignor William A. Nagle, who lead downtown parishioners for decades, died in 2013. A gathering hall in the Atlantic Street church was named for the man, who was beloved by many and was the grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade several times.

According to his obituary, Monsignor Nagle also served as a chaplain for the Ancient Order of Hibernian, the Knights of Columbus, and the Stamford and Darien police departments and fire departments, as well as the Stamford Yacht Club.

In a letter to the editor, Monsignor Nagle’s nephew, Rev. Deacon Thomas Davis, praised the bishop for releasing the letter but drove home that the well-known Nagle is not to be confused with William R. Nagle.

“Monsignor Nagle was a great man of deep faith, service to the poor, and orthodox faith. His legendary service to the community, is well known,” Davis wrote.

barry.lytton@stamfordadvocate.com; 203-964-2263; @bglytton