June 27, 2019
By Bob Christie
Victims of sexual abuse and attorneys representing them on Wednesday called for the Phoenix Diocese of the Catholic church to disclose the names of all priests who have been accused of child sex crimes.
The demand came at a news conference where Minnesota-based attorney and longtime clergy abuse victim advocate Jeff Anderson released a report with the names of 109 clerics he says have been accused of crimes against children.
The Phoenix Diocese has publicly released a list of 43 names of clergy who have been “credibly accused” of abuse since the diocese was formed in 1969 and removes them from their clerical duties. Priests accused before that year are disclosed by the Tucson and Gallup, New Mexico, dioceses, which oversaw parts of the region before the new diocese was created.
The diocese said it appeared the list contained names of priests identified on its website and those maintained by other dioceses and religious orders, and that none of those identified by Anderson are in an active Phoenix-area ministry. The Associated Press located one of the names left off the Phoenix list as one maintained on a list by the Gallup diocese.
But Anderson and other advocates say the Phoenix diocese owes victims complete transparency and should disclose every name, including those that have worked for other religious orders allowed to work in the diocese.
He said he believes the diocese has underreported the number of priests who have worked and been accused of child sexual molestation.
“It is time for transparency, and it’s time for disclosure,” Anderson said. “And this is our best effort to begin the process of full disclosure here,” he said of the list he released .
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