2 Catholic orders name 65 priests accused or convicted of abuse; 27 served in Arizona

Arizona Republic

June 15, 2019

By Lauren Castle

Two Catholic religious orders recently released lists naming 65 clergy accused of sexual abuse against minors dating back decades; 27 of the men served in Arizona.

The newly released information comes as American bishops met this week in Baltimore for a conference that focused on how to respond to the church’s sex-abuse crisis, which has increasingly caught the attention of state prosecutors across the U.S.

The Franciscan Friars of the Province of Saint Barbara, based in Oakland, California, released its list of credible abuse claims in late May. The claims stretch as far back as the 1930s, and the most recent claim is from the 1980s. More than two dozen on the list had assignments in Arizona, from St. Mary’s in Phoenix to St. Xavier del Bac near Tucson. Most of the accused have long since died.

In a letter, Father David Gaa, provincial minister for the Franciscan Friars of Saint Barbara, said the list is a commitment to transparency and accountability. “The victims, their families, and the People of God deserve transparency,” the letter says.

A Catholic religious order that founded University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College in Indiana released a list of credible sex abuse claims involving minors on Wednesday. The Congregation of Holy Cross’ list dates back to the 1940s.

Two of the accused clergy served in Phoenix.

“Over the last two decades, but particularly in the last year, we have all become more aware of the problem of sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Church and its mishandling,” Rev. William Lies, the provincial superior of the order, said in a letter published with the list.

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