News Advisory: and SNAP call on Cleveland bishop to end secrecy around abuse


April 10, 2024

For immediate release, April 10, 2024

Watchdog group blasts Cleveland bishop for secrecy around abuse

Bishop Malesic runs “one of the most secretive” dioceses in the U.S., they say

Bishop claims just 51 priests are credibly accused

But in 2002, county prosecutor identified almost three times as many 

Abuse expert releases 50 names that should be added to diocese’s list of accused clergy

Ohio leader of victims’ group: “Malesic’s secrecy puts children at risk, hurts victims, and betrays Cleveland Catholics”

[To see the 50 clergy omitted from the Cleveland diocese’s list of priests with substantiated allegations, click here.]

At a sidewalk news conference, the leader of the world’s leading research group on the clergy sex abuse crisis will: *

  • Release the names of 50 publicly accused clerics who should be added to Bishop Malesic’s posted list of accused Cleveland priests 
  • Urge Bishop Malesic to end the Cleveland diocese’s secrecy about abuse 
  • Demand that Malesic start by disclosing 145 priests identified as offenders by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor in his 2002 investigation.

Joining her will be the Ohio leader of SNAP, the nation’s largest group of clergy sex abuse victims, who will:

  • Call on Malesic to support reform of the state’s restrictive statutes of limitation around child sex crimes 
  • Say why the bishop’s secrecy around offenders puts children at risk and deepens the suffering of victims 

Wednesday, April 10, 11am 

Outside St. John Cathedral 
1007 Superior Avenue East 
Cleveland, OH  

– Anne Barrett Doyle, the co-director of a Boston-based research and watchdog organization called
– Claudia Vercellotti, the longtime Ohio leader of the nation’s largest group of clergy sex abuse victims
– Cleveland Catholics demanding accountability from their diocese


The group will hold posters of several publicly accused Cleveland priests whose cases are cloaked in secrecy, because of the diocese’s refusal to release information.  Supporters will be holding signs urging Bishop Malesic to release the names of all offending priests who have worked in Cleveland. 


See the Cleveland diocese’s list of clergy with substantiated allegations. Bishop Malesic lists 51 priests with “substantiated” allegations plus one priest (deceased) with an allegation that was not substantiated. []

161 U.S. dioceses have published lists of accused clergy. Of those, 124, or 77%, have included accused religious order clergy on their lists. Bishop Malesic chose NOT to include religious order clergy from his list. See links to all 161 diocesan lists: [] 

See BishopAccountability’s database of accused Cleveland clergy. Click on each blue-colored name to get full details about that case. [Note: This partially overlaps but isn’t the same as the list of 50 names that we released today.] []

See Bishop Anthony Pilla’s admission in 2004 of 118 accused priests: []

In 2002, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor identified 145 Cleveland priests who had offended against children. See: []

Ohio’s civil and criminal statutes of limitations (SOL) for child sex crimes are among the most restrictive in the country. The result: many offenders are not prosecuted, and institutions that fail to prevent sexual assault of children are not held accountable. Ohio’s current civil and criminal SOL are detailed here: []

Child USA gives Ohio the grade of D for its criminal SOL and F for its civil SOL. See: [] 

Age of disclosure: The overwhelming majority of child sex abuse victims — 86% — never report their abuse. The average age of those who do come forward is 52. (In Ohio, victims have only until age 30 [] to file a lawsuit against the institution that shielded their abuser.) See: []


Anne Barrett Doyle, Co-Director
Cell: (781) 439-5208 

Claudia Vercellotti
Longtime leader in Ohio of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Phone: 419-345-9291