Since the summer, political and social pressure from the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report has put pressure on attorneys general throughout the United States to conduct investigations of the Diocese in their respective states. Another consequence of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report was to put pressure on Diocese to release the names of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. To date numerous Diocese have released such lists including the Diocese and Archdiocese in the following cities: Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA, Oakland, CA, Savannah, GA, West Virginia, Buffalo, Las Cruces, NM, New Jersey, Baton Rouge and Alabama . The latest to release names is Syracuse Diocese as reported in Syracuse.com.
On December 3, the list went live on The Catholic Sun and Syrdio.org. The list included all clergy who have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of a minor since 1950. Priests both living and deceased appeared on the list.
Bishop Robert J. Cunningham made the decision to release the list, despite the fact that his own earlier policies indicated names of accused priests would only be released after a victim made that name public. It is possible he released the list due to the New York State Attorney General’s probe into the eight dioceses across the state, looking into whether each covered up sexual abuse in the past.
Currently only 75 other dioceses have released their own lists of abusive priests, but a nationwide push to do the same across the nation and the world isn’t letting up. Many dioceses believe the release only furthers damage to the church while many victims and their families feel vindicated. It is clear that with this push, many others will follow in the Syracuse Diocese’ footsteps and make that information public.
The Catholic sex abuse scandal has touched many lives across the world, and victims deserve justice. If you have been sexually abused by a priest and have questions about your options, please contact the office of Paul Mones.