Letter: Transparency is essential on abuses in Catholic Church


July 24, 2020

By Lena Woltering

The abuse of children by Catholic clerics is, in nearly everyone’s eyes, the most significant challenge to the church in centuries. So let’s compare the incoming archbishop to the outgoing archbishop on this matter.

On their respective diocese websites, both Archbishop Robert Carlson and Bishop Mitchell Rozanski list credibly accused predator priests. Carlson, however, is far more forthcoming and helpful. He gives his flock details: whether the accused priest has possessed child pornography, if he has a middle initial, when he was ordained and if he’s living or deceased. Bishop Rozanski does not.

Carlson reveals the identity of 64 proven, admitted or credibly accused local abusive clerics. But an independent, online archive on the church’s abuse crisis, BishopAccountability.org, names 97 publicly accused St. Louis clerics. In his current diocese, Rozanski names 18 accused priests, while BishopAccountability.org names 49. No one statistic or matrix provides a thorough assessment of any official’s performance, but this data suggests St. Louis’ new shepherd may not be as forthcoming with information on abuse as his predecessor.

Lena Woltering – Belleville

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