of the BishopAccountability.org Database
of Publicly Accused Roman Catholic Priests, Nuns, Brothers,
Deacons, and Seminarians in the United States
This database is intended to provide the best possible answer to a simple question: According to a church-sponsored report based on diocesan records, 4,392 Catholic priests in the United States have been accused since 1950 of sexually abusing minors. Updates have increased the USCCB's count to 6,275 priests accused through 2012. See our page tabulating the USCCB's annual updates. Who are these priests and where have they worked?
The answer to this question is an urgent concern for many people:
On this page we explain the genesis of
this database project and its current
status; then we offer a detailed
description of its contents, our posting
policy, and the conventions
we follow in displaying the data. We also acknowledge the people
who have made this database possible.
This project combines information from three main sources:
All of the names in our database originated either in media reports (including
some pioneering collections of names gathered by enterprising reporters)
or in publicly filed court documents. We thank the courageous victims
who filed civil suits, their attorneys, the prosecutors who pressed charges
when the statutes of limitations allowed, and the journalists who brought
these and other accusations into public view. Our database tabulates their
What exactly does the database consist of?
• The database is a list of diocesan and religious order priests, brothers, seminarians, deacons and nuns in the Roman Catholic church in the United States who face an allegation or legal action (criminal or civil) relating to sexual abuse of a child or possession of child pornography, as reported in a newspaper article or other media source or documented in public court filings.
• Alleged acts of sexual abuse or possession of child pornography by lay teachers, church volunteers, church administrators, or other diocesan or religious order employees are excluded.
• A child is defined as a person under 18 at the time the alleged offense occurred.
• The legal definition of sexual abuse is state-specific and we defer to the state-specific definition of sexual abuse when questions arise. Incidents of alleged sexual abuse of adults, murder, theft, drug use, or other crimes are not included.
• The database references and links to articles and reports from reputable news services including newspapers, magazines and other periodicals. It is the understanding of BishopAccountability.org that the news services’ reporters, editorial staff and/or attorneys have reviewed the facts and approved them for publication. The database may also include documents from other reputable sources.
• The database may also reference and link to investigative reports from government agencies, pleadings and other documents filed in criminal and civil court proceedings, as well as materials obtained in discovery and not under protective order.
• The database is not the original reporter of any new information or new allegations. Each allegation that we list has already been reported in public sources. The database "re-reports" or “re-formats” information in the public domain.
• An individual is included in the database only if BishopAccountability.org has obtained appropriate documentation. This is typically a copy of a newspaper article from a reputable newspaper or a copy of the legal documents filed in court and maintained in a public file.
• The database does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.
• Every attempt is made to keep the database current and accurate. BishopAccountability.org monitors news sources for updates in an individual’s case.
Retraction and Correction Policy
BishopAccountability.org is committed to truth, accuracy, and fairness. Corrections and comments on information appearing in the database are encouraged and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. If BishopAccountability.org discovers facts establishing that any information appearing in the database is inaccurate, we will promptly take appropriate action, including but not limited to revising, correcting or withdrawing the information.
The columns in the database are labeled as follows:
A search of a page can be done quickly by using Find (under Edit in the Browser Menu) or typing Ctrl-F.
If you wish to print a smaller section of this large database, instead
of printing a whole page, use your mouse to position the cursor at the
top left corner of the area that you want to print. Then hold down the
left button of your mouse while you draw the mouse down and to the right.
When you have used this method to highlight the portion you wish to print,
select the print command, click "Selection" in the Page Range
part of the Print dialogue box, and then click "Print."
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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