Recently I shared a story about my childhood priest. I located my community priest’s name on a list of priests accused of committing sexual assaults or abuses against children or members. A reader suggested I provide resources to my readers on how to locate abusive priests. I believe that if more Catholics researched their dioceses, they would realize problem priests are not a minority in the church. I will provide details on how to locate problem priests in your area.
In order to find a priest from my former church, I conducted a google search that took me to a database called Bishop Accountability. Bishop Accountability is a website dedicated to housing a long list of all priests, bishops, and cardinals accused of sexual abuse. The site includes news, archives of cases, a database of the accused, and updates on ongoing litigation.
Bishop Accountability sources all of their data from diocesan records. Information is sourced from survivors networks, law enforcement records, and research conducted by Bishop Accountability. Through this research, they estimated in 2012 to have 6,275 priests in their database. However, their database grows daily and is on-going. The database includes priests from 1950 to present.
On the website, there is a search tool for individuals to look for specific priests. Searches can be done by a diocese, last name of the priest, or by state. Records indicate accusations, assignments of the accused priests, and sources for the accusations.
I used this tool to locate my former childhood Priest Gerry Grieman:
A screenshot below details the accusations, the diocese in which they are alleged to have occurred, and sources for the accusations.
Individuals can also use the search feature to review an entire diocese. This feature is helpful to determine how many problem priests are in one area. I grew up in Minneapolis. Our local diocese is St. Paul-Minneapolis. A quick search of the diocese brings up this:
The records indicate Bishop Accountability located 77 accused priests within my local diocese.
Whether you are a current Catholic or recovering Catholic like me, every Catholic needs to know this information. Until yesterday, I only knew my former priest abruptly moved to another church. After my discovery, I realized the church moved him to get rid of a problem within my congregation.
The Catholic Church wants you to believe these priests are a minority. They are blaming it on homosexuality. I have a hard time believing either of those arguments given the thousands of priests accused of abuse and rape.
I encourage all Catholics to search the database. Educate yourselves on your diocese. Review the records of priests in the database.
Take a stand and get informed.
No more children should be harmed at the hands of a criminal institution like the Catholic Church.
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