ID of Removed Priests Delayed Indefinite

Newsday [New York]
September 29, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Archdiocese of New York said Monday that the publication of names of priests removed from active ministry due to allegations of sexual abuse had been delayed indefinitely as the result of a request by the Vatican to review the investigations.

The archdiocese had previously indicated it would publish the list of names this week in its newspaper, Catholic New York, following an internal investigation of sexual molestation charges.

But Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for Cardinal Edward Egan, said that on Sept. 23 a lawyer for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops informed the archdiocese that the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wanted to review the investigation before the cases were concluded and the priests' names were released.

Zwilling said he did not know how long the process would take.

A lay review board appointed by Egan has investigated a number of priests suspended since April 2002 because of accusations of sexual abuse. Published reports have stated that 13 priests were under investigation; Zwilling could not confirm the number.

Zwilling said the archdiocese still intended to publish only the names of priests barred from the ministry, not the names of those cleared by the investigation for a return to work.

Information about the allegations also was turned over to prosecutors, who decided not to charge 12 of the priests, citing lack of evidence or the statute of limitations. Prosecutors are still reviewing one case.


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