Bishop Right to Reveal Names

Kennebec Journal [Maine]
January 30, 2007

On Saturday, Maine's Roman Catholic bishop, Richard Malone, released the names of six priests accused of sexual abuse. The priests' cases have not yet been resolved by Vatican courts in Rome. Malone said he did not want to delay any longer identifying the men for fear that while waiting for their cases' resolution, they might commit another offense.

Malone did the right thing. Knowing the identity of the accused priests is a public safety issue. By revealing their names, Malone made it easier for parents to protect vulnerable children who might come into contact with the priests.

Disclosure of where the priests currently live would have been even better. And if -- as two credible groups who advocate for victims of clergy abuse contend -- there are even more priests out there who are under investigation for abuse but whose identities have not been made public by the Church, we hope that the bishop will continue in this vein and reveal their names as well.

Malone has a tough role to play here, both protecting the rights of clergy and protecting the safety of parishioners and other members of the public. When in doubt, we hope he would lean on the side of protecting public safety.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.