Miami Archdiocese Will Not Disclose Names of 38 Priests Accused of Sexual Misconduct

By Vicky Agnew
Sun-Sentinel [Miami FL]
December 15, 2003

The Miami Archdiocese said Sunday it will not release the names of 38 priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors since the archdiocese was founded in 1958.

The names were found in 64 complaints against priests who have died, retired, left the priesthood or are on leave, said Miami Archdiocese spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta.

"There is no one in active ministry who is any one of these 38 people," Ross Agosta said. "I am not sure what revealing the names of priests who might be dead would achieve at this time ... We are doing our best to make sure anyone who has a credible allegation against them--meaning it could be true -- is not in active ministry."

The list was gathered by a special committee created by Archbishop John C. Favalora and submitted last summer as part of a national survey conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. The results are to be released in February, Ross Agosta said.

"We've checked everything in all the files of anyone who has been a priest and has worked in the Archdiocese of Miami," she said. "Every time we receive a credible allegation, no matter how old it is, it has been reported to the state attorney's office."

No one from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice could be reached for comment.

In a letter to archdiocese members released Saturday, Favalora apologized for the "sins of a few" and called the majority of clergy "a good example," according to The Associated Press.

The report says that 4,302, or 99.1 percent, of the archdiocesan priests have never been accused of sexual misconduct with minors. Favalora decided to release the report Saturday to reassure the Catholic community that the archdiocese is committed to protecting children and helping the community heal, Ross Agosta said.

"The archbishop felt this was the time to do it," she said.

The report does not list a breakdown of when the allegations were made, but at least 17 priests from the archdiocese have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors since January 2002, according to The Associated Press. Miami's archdiocese had paid $9.3 million in settlement, legal and counseling costs to victims of abuse cases since 1958, but has said no parish funds were used to settle any claims.


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