Many flaws with releasing priests’ names accused of sex abuse, but we need to prevent any future victims

The Daily News

March 26, 2018

The release by the Diocese of Buffalo of the names of priests accused of sexually assaulting children stirs strong and mixed feelings – anger, outrage, sorrow, horror.

Even if you accept that priests are human beings with flaws, it is difficult to accept that such evil flaws were allowed to flourish in the echoing silence of the Catholic Church. The lessons to be learned here are many, and they apply to everyone, not just Catholic authorities – Protestants have had similar problems.

It should be noted, first, that an accusation is not a conviction. Perhaps that is the saddest part of this whole situation — that these reports were handled internally, and the courts were not allowed to sort out the truth.

Now, because there are so many accusations, mixed in with confessions and a few convictions, there is a tendency to view all the accusations as true. In some cases, the accused priests are dead – they do not have an opportunity to defend themselves, and unfortunately, the victims do not have the opportunity to seek justice.

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