Catholic order’s list of accused shows past of mishandling abuse allegations


August 8, 2020

By Josh Sweigart

A Journal-News investigation into the Society of Mary’s handling of alleged abuse of children by its members found the religious order concealed allegations against some from parents, students and school officials.

The order released a list this summer of 46 priests and brothers its leaders say sexually abused children since 1950, but critics say the disclosure falls short. Five men appearing on the list were assigned to the former Hamilton Catholic High School at some time during their careers, according to a Journal-News review of the documents.

The Catholic order today is based in St. Louis and runs dozens of schools in the U.S. and around the world. Because of the group’s ties to southwest Ohio, many of the men named in the list worked or studied in the region at some time, a Journal-News investigation found.

U.S. Marianist leader Provincial Fr. Oscar Vasquez has admitted that mistakes were made in the past in how the order handled abuse claims.

“In a spirit of sorrow and accountability, and with a sincere desire for reconciliation and healing, we are confronting the darkness of these sins,” he said in a statement released along with the list.

A group critical of how the Catholic church has handled abuse claims, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has called for the Marianists to do more. The organization wants the Marianists to release more information about the accused, including photos, current whereabouts and when the order learned of the allegations and to work more aggressively to seek out additional victims and perpetrators.

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