Boston posts list of accused priests

It happened Thursday afternoon.  Details, from the Boston Globe.

Nearly 10 years after a worldwide clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted in the Boston Archdiocese, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley today released a long-awaited roster of 159 archdiocesan clerics who have been accused of sexually abusing children.

But O’Malley’s action was immediately criticized by Attorney General Martha Coakley and advocates for clergy abuse victims because it lists only those priests who have already been publicly accused, and omits the names of dozens of accused priests from religious orders and other dioceses, as well as those who left the priesthood before accusations were leveled againt them.

“Those names should be disclosed in the interest of the victims and public safety,” Coakley said. “While today was an important first step, we urge the leaders of the Archdiocese to complete this effort toward transparency and publicly disclose the names of those accused from other orders and those who were already laicized.”

O’Malley compiled his list after reviewing all of the abuse allegations in the files of the archdiocese, some going back as many as 70 years, Church officials said, in his most recent attempt to assure parishioners and the public that the Church is doing all in its power to protect children while assisting survivors of abusive clergy.

“The Archdiocese of Boston’s commitment and responsibility is to protect children and to ensure that the tragedy of sexual abuse is never repeated,” O’Malley said in a statement that accompanied a posting of the list on the official website of the archdiocese at 2 p.m. today.

O’Malley said he omitted the names of 91 additional accused archdiocesan priests, most of whom are dead and unable to answer the accusations leveled against them, as well as the names of priests from religious orders and other dioceses who have been accused of abusing children in the Boston area. Church officials said approximately 40 priests from religious orders and other dioceses have been accused of molesting children in the Boston area.

Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who represents clergy abuse victims, said the omissions are a disservice to victims.

“It’s disappointing that Cardinal O’Malley omitted the names of 91 additional accused archdiocesan priests since naming them would allow sexual abuse victims to try and heal and perhaps understand that they were not the only ones abused by a particular priest,” Garabedian said.

Read the rest.

For more, visit the website for the archdiocese.

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8 responses to “Boston posts list of accused priests”

  1. I am a Boston Catholic, I think Cardinal Sean has tried to do his best in what could be seen as an impossible situation. No matter how the list of names were put together, he would have faced criticism from all factions. Victims and their supporters would say he did not go far enough and is still covering for abusive clergy. Others woudl say he went too far, ruining the reputation of priests who have not had their day in court. While we still hold to the legal ideal that one is innocent until proven guilty, we are still a society that is willing to convict individuals through gossip and the media. Is the price worth it to publicly reveal the names of the presumed guilty, if one innocent man’s reputation is forever destroyed?

    Because of the long coverup our American church was forced to endure, steps had to be taken to bring this tragic situation to light. Again, I say that Cardinal Sean has done the best he could to protect the rights of all involved, and should receive praise for it.

  2. After 60 years of total coverups, they decide its time to come clean and earn back trust, so they decide to show good faith by performing a smaller coverup….hmm. I have never seen an organization (a caste of men at the top, really), so absolutely immune to learning from mistakes.

    Their commitment to transparency boils down to this: “From now on, we’re totally open and honest. Unless, you know, we’re not comfortable with that for some reason.”

    This gives me zero confidence that they’re not shielding active predators from prosecution and parishioners as we speak. More scandals will break, as sure as the sun rises, and eventually the lawyers will sue them into street beggary. Working from a park bench someplace, the bishops will draw up a new set of guidelines and promise “full disclosure” and real transparency…..

  3. The work of preventing this starts in the seminaries and the kind of men recruited and eventually ordained to the priesthood. For a long time these institutions have served to harbor pederasts and pedophiles who find an all male environment an ideal place to hide their perverted inclinations. It seems, unfortunately that during many years seminaries actually screened out normal men and allowed in those sharing in the same inclinations, a great lavender club.

    Whatever Cardinal Sean does it will in the end not satisfy those who will not be happy with anything as Jonathan comments above. I guess he is in a very hard spot, trying to rectify a situation that has already damaged victims, families and the Church. I guess a case of trying to do the right thing at the wrong time.

  4. This is highly disturbing from a civil rights standpoint. Do we publish the names of UPS drivers, CEOs, Rabbis, carpenters, landscappers, teachers…who have been accused of crimes? Not formally charged, merely accused? Do we sue ever institution when any of its members or employees committs a crime?

    Look what happened to those people who worked in the Child care facility in the Bronx who were all falsely accused. They had their lives ruined. It is important we do not destroy our system of Justice, over hysteria for security, whether it is terrorism or sex abuse.

  5. “This gives me zero confidence that they’re not shielding active predators from prosecution and parishioners as we speak”

    I doubt that tha names were released to instill confidence in you. What is your stake in all this?

  6. Pagansister,

    Primarily because a person has a right to not have their reputation besmirched, and the Church has an obligation not to be party to it. Anyone can accuse anyone of anything. I can accuse Kenneth of sexually abusing me. Should Kenneth’s name then be released as having had someone accuse him of sexually abusing them?

    This is a list of the accused, not the charged, certainly not the convicted. Unless they’re charged with a crime, everyone who is accused of something does not have to have their name revealed to the public.

    It helps no one to release the names of the dead. It will not help prevent them from committing further crimes; it will only shame their name and their family, causing even further harm. The constant call for it makes me suspect that the real motivation is only to further harm the church; revenge, not justice.

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