|San Diego Diocese Releases Names of Accused Priests
List Includes 37, of Whom 20 Are Dead; None Remain in Active Ministry
Associated Press, carried in Orange County Register
March 31, 2007
San Diego — The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego on Friday released the names of 37 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, following up on a pledge that it made when it filed for bankruptcy protection a month ago.
Diocese officials said the roster is an exhaustive list of priests facing "credible allegations," listing the dates and parishes in San Diego where each served and noting the current status of each.
At least 20 are dead, according to the documents. None remain in active ministry.
The list does not specify the nature or the extent of abuse claims against those named.
Bishop Robert Brom promised to release the names when he told parishioners in February that the diocese decided to file for bankruptcy protection in the face of more than 140 civil lawsuits filed by people claiming abuse by priests.
The diocese filed for Chapter 11 protection Feb. 27, just hours before the first civil trial was scheduled to begin in San Diego Superior Court and after a last-ditch round of settlement negotiations with plaintiffs' attorneys failed to produce an agreement.
The diocese has said in bankruptcy proceedings that it intends to set a deadline to address any new abuse claims as part of any bankruptcy reorganization.
With nearly 1 million Catholics, the diocese is by far the largest and, by all accounts, the wealthiest of the five U.S. dioceses to have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the shadow of civil claims over sexual abuse.
The other dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy protection are Davenport, Iowa; Portland, Ore.; Spokane, Wash.; and Tucson, Ariz. Tucson has emerged from bankruptcy protection, while proposed settlements are awaiting court approval in Portland and Spokane.
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