Sex Abuse Victims Want Addresses of Priests
By John Nolan
Associated Press, carried in Cleveland Plain Dealer [Cincinnati OH]
April 7, 2004
Cincinnati- Advocates for victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests are pushing the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to disclose where abusive priests live.
"Our ultimate goal is to stop this abuse," said Christy Miller on Tuesday, who says she was abused by an archdiocese priest in 1983 at her Catholic high school in suburban Cincinnati. "The only way we know to do that is to find out where these men are . . . and make the public aware of it."
Dan Andriacco, a Cincinnati archdiocese spokesman, said the archdiocese knows where the priests are, but disclosing that could subject a priest's neighbors to unwanted attention from reporters and camera crews.
The 14 accused priests have been identified publicly, and the archdiocese expects to list their names on its Web site within days, Andriacco said. All 14 have been suspended from clerical duties - but continue to be paid - pending Vatican decisions on whether they should be removed from the priesthood, he said.
Last fall, Miller founded a Cincinnati chapter of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, a national support group for victims of abuse by the clergy. Members of the group and Voice of the Faithful, an organization of Catholics pressing for church reforms, planned a vigil Tuesday evening outside the Cincinnati Archdiocese's Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains.
Inside the cathedral, priests were to renew their commitments before Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk at an annual Mass held to bless oil of chrism used at baptism and other church sacraments.
The activists said they want archdiocese leaders to disclose everything they know about abuse allegations against clergy and to urge priests to be faithful to their spiritual commitments.
"It's a show of solidarity and strength to the archdiocese that we're not going away," said Mike Knellinger, a Dayton chapter leader with Voice of the Faithful. "We want them to get the message that we're paying attention, and we want them to be faithful to their vows."
The 19-county Cincinnati archdiocese, which serves about 515,000 Catholics, has 283 priests, including 78 who are retired but may still celebrate the Mass.
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