Catholic Diocese of Cleveland identifies 22 more priests previously accused of sexual abuse

The Plain Dealer

June 21, 2019

By Cory Shaffer

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland on Friday released a list of 22 previously unnamed priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children while wearing the cloth.

Bishop Nelson Perez announced the release in a letter in which he said a committee assembled by the diocese had determined that the accusations against each cleric on the list were “more likely than not to be true.”

“While the addition of new names to this list is certainly an occasion of profound sadness, inasmuch as it reminds us of the great harm experienced as a result of sexual abuse, I pray that it also may be an occasion for healing and a step toward restoring trust in the Church,” Perez wrote in the letter.

Among the priests named in the list is the Rev. Anthony Schuerger, who was placed on administrative leave Friday due to allegations that he sexually abused a child decades ago, the church said.

Schuerger has been pastor at St. Malachi Parish in Cleveland since 1994, and was still listed as pastor on Friday.

The list comes after Perez pledged in October to follow the lead of dioceses around the country and release the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse, past and present.

The diocese in 2002 began publishing names of priests who were accused from that year forward. The move came following a grand jury inquiry led by then-Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason that identified hundreds of names but led to very few charges. A judge subsequently ruled that that report ought to remain secret, and the names included in the report had never been released.

The list released Friday includes 29 priests whom the diocese has previously named publicly.

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