Is the Diocese of Gallup New Disclosure Just Bankruptcy Protection?

Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
January 5, 2015

This past week the Diocese of Gallup disclosed a list of 30 new names of credibly accused priests. As usual, there is talk about the names being old and in many cases dead. Which raises the question of why weren’t these names disclosed earlier? Why were the names not on the original list that was disclosed back in 2003?

At the time of the 2003 disclosure Bishop Donald E. Pelotte claimed:

Of the 494 bishops, priests and permanent deacons that are known to have served in the Diocese of Gallup from 1950 to 2002, there were 8 known individuals who had credible accusations of sexual abuse of minors made against them.

He also pledged:

As much as all of us would like to put this behind us, the healing process and the development of policies and procedures to prevent it in the future require more attention. We have publicly committed ourselves not to return to “business as usual” but to make every effort to reform and move forward. I, as your bishop, commit myself and my staff to transparency and to the protection of all our children and youth.

So why didn’t they find these names earlier? It looks like the Dioceses filed for Bankruptcy in 2012. The January 14,2014 notice letter from Bishop Wall to parishioners spoke not only of overall debt , but of the claims of survivors:

a committee of those who were abused has been appointed as part of the Chapter II process and they will act in the Chapter 11 case on behalf of all those who were harmed in the Diocese.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.