Bankruptcy shadows 75th anniversary

National Catholic Reporter

Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola | Mar. 27, 2015

GALLUP, N.M. The year 2015 was meant to be a joyous one for the Gallup diocese. It marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the diocese, and normally that would be a cause of celebration in parishes and schools across New Mexico and Arizona.

However, celebrations have proven to be few and subdued as the diocese continues to be mired in bankruptcy court, and the legacy of clergy sex abuse continues to cast a long shadow across the diocese.

Although Bishop James Wall designated Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as the kickoff date for the yearlong anniversary celebration, the event was marked with just a low-key Friday morning Mass at Gallup’s Sacred Heart Cathedral.

In contrast, three days later, the bishop made national news when he publicly released an updated list of credibly accused sex abusers from the diocese. The list, which included the names of 30 diocesan and religious order priests and one lay religious education teacher, was also posted on the diocesan website for the first time.

“The publication of these additional names does not mean that our vigilance and continued investigation ends here,” Wall said in his statement. “The investigations remain ongoing.”

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