Dark Canyon: Sexual Abuse and Secrecy in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe



The Archdiocese of Santa Fe last week shocked the state by releasing — for the first time — a list of 74 names of priests, deacons and brothers that it says have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

In a statement, Archbishop John Wester said he hopes the publication of the list will help victims and their communities to heal, and help rebuild trust in the Church.

It’s a move that other dioceses around the country have turned to after media pressure or after filing for bankruptcy. Victims’ advocates like the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests-or SNAP_-have called for more transparency from the Church for years. They , call this a step in the right direction but say: “The Archbishop and Archdiocse are not making the names public because .. of a desire for transparency or pastoral care.. They are doing so because of a new law in New Mexico that allows victims of child sexual abuse to make these names public through the civil courts.”

But the Church’s sexual abuse crisis in New Mexico – and its responsibility to the public – does not begin and end with this list. For months, a team of reporters for KSFR has been looking into an epidemic perpetrated by an institution deeply embedded in our state’s culture and history.

Today we bring you the first in a special series “Dark Canyon: Sexual Abuse and Secrecy in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.” Ellen Berkovitch has the story.

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