List the predators: Ogdensburg Diocese should name all those accused of abuse

Watertown Daily Times

March 22, 2018

A representative of a law firm in Minnesota called on the leaders of the Roman Catholic dioceses of Ogdensburg and Syracuse last week to release the names of all priests accused of sexual abuse.

“We hope the dioceses will view this as being on the cusp of doing the right thing,” Mike Reck, a lawyer with Jeff Anderson & Associates, said during a March 14 news conference. “They have this information. They could disclose it, and we hope they do.”

The law firm represents victims of abuse by priests in these two dioceses. It released a report naming eight priests from Ogdensburg and 19 from Syracuse accused of sexual abuse.

In so doing, the law firm urged the two dioceses to become more transparent by making public the names of all their priests who have faced accusations of abuse. This would show that church leaders take this crisis seriously by exposing the predators within their ranks.

The Diocese of Ogdensburg, however, has opted to follow a tragic pattern of obstruction. Through a spokesman, Bishop Terry R. LaValley made it clear that the diocese would continue to keep the names of these priests under wraps.

“The concern of Bishop LaValley and the Diocese of Ogdensburg remains with the victims of sexual abuse by clergy and their healing,” Mr. Crowley said in a statement. “To protect the privacy of victims, the diocese will not release or confirm names of accused clergy.”

Mr. Crowley said that some victims have asked Bishop LaValley to withhold the name of their abusers. However, this appears to be a tactic to safeguard the identity of perpetrators rather than to serve victims.

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