|Church's Accused Abusers Named Online
January 19, 2011
A Boston lawyer has published an online list of Roman Catholic priests and others affiliated with the church accused of molesting children.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian has represented hundreds of abuse victims. He said he's frustrated by the Boston Archdiocese's inaction.
"It is important to release these names so that the truth be told and that the secrecy end," Garabedian said.
Garabedian said the list of 117 priests, members of religious orders and other church employees have been named in sexual abuse complaints that he has obtained settlements or arbitration awards.
The list includes the previously undisclosed names of 19 priests and members of religious orders who Garabedian said were accused in cases his firm settled.
The archdiocese said 12 people identified as "Boston Archdiocesan clerics" on the list are dead and were deceased at the time the complaint of sexual abuse of a minor was made.
"Further, no prior complaints of sexual abuse of a minor had been made against any of these men. In cases when an accused priest is deceased, it is nearly impossible to conduct a thorough and fair investigation into a claim," the church said in a statement.
Ten of the 12 were priests of the Archdiocese of Boston, and one was a Boston deacon. One other person was ordained out of the country and received faculties to serve in the Archdiocese of Boston.
"In each of these 12 cases (as in all cases), law enforcement was notified of the complaint and the individual who brought forward the allegation was offered support services through our Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach," the statement said. "Since all of the new names are deceased men, clearly no child was put at risk because these names were not in the public domain."
Robert Perron said he was abused as a child in the late 1960s, although the priest he is accusing is not on the list because his case is still open.
"I kind of feel disgusted with the fact that I'm not being listened to about my case, about what happened. And I feel that the Catholic church is ignoring me. It's like they don't even care," Perron said.
A representative of a website that tracks abusive priests had nothing but criticism for the archdiocese and Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
"If he wants to keep children safe, if he wants victims to heal, we need information, not incense, we publicity, not his piety," said Anne Doyle, of BishopAccountability.com.
A spokesman for the archdiocese said the church remains dedicated to implementing policies that protect children, including:
# Immediately reporting all allegations of clergy sexual abuse to local law enforcement agencies;
# Publicly disclosing when a member of the clergy is removed from active ministry pending an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of a minor;
# Publicly disclosing when a priest is convicted of the sexual abuse of a minor as the result of a criminal process or when, after a canonical process, a member of the clergy is removed from the clerical state.
"We will continue to make public announcements on such cases and will convey this information to the person or persons who brought forward the complaint, to the parishes and institutions where the priest served and to the community at-large," church spokesman Terrence C. Donilon said in a statement.
WCVB-TV and TheBostonChannel.com are not naming the priests on the list released by Garabedian on Wednesday. No documentation was provided to verify the claims, and there is no independent confirmation of the accusations made against some of the priests who were named.
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