Religious Orders Should Release Names of Charged Priests

News Journal
November 26, 2006

The pompous arrogance of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales -- who run Salesianum School -- exemplifies the worst of the Catholic Church's handling of its sexual abuse scandals. An attorney for the Oblates flatly told The News Journal there are no plan to release the names of accused priests. Likewise, the Norbertine Fathers, who operate Archmere Academy, have refused to respond on the question of releasing names. The same goes for the Capuchin Franciscan Friars.

They are the only three religious orders in Delaware that have priests with allegations of sexual abuse against them.

Two weeks ago, Bishop Michael Saltarelli released the names of 20 priests against whom there are what is categorized as "substantiated allegations of sexual abuse against minors." Because religious orders operate differently than dioceses -- their only commonality is the pope -- and separate from the diocese bishop, Bishop Saltarelli could only recommend that the orders release the names of the seven religious order priests with credible allegations against them.

The News Journal, through court documents, named three of the religious order priests a year ago.

But to finally clear the air and begin the healing it is up to the religious orders -- two of which operate highly visible and respected private schools -- to follow the lead of Bishop Saltarelli and release the names of the priests. Otherwise they could find that the parents who are organizing a "no names, no money" campaign against the schools have a significant following.


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