Watchdog Group Archdiocese Pedophile Priest List Released

BOSTON (AP) — A watchdog group is pushing Cardinal Sean O’Malley to release a promised list of suspected pedophile priests in Boston, highlighting a church document that indicates the list could include up to 40 names that haven’t been made public.

The number appears in the minutes of an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council meeting held exactly a year ago Friday. The document records a discussion about the list, as well as questions by council members and answers by archdiocesan officials, including:

Question: “How many names will be on the list of credibly accused priests?”

Answer: “155 names will appear, of which 40 may be new names.”

Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org, which collects and posts information about the clergy sex abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church, said that number of unnamed priests is “staggering” and accused O’Malley of purposely stalling the list’s release.

She said a delay can prevent civil suits against the archdiocese because a case’s statute of limitations expires, and fading memories make it tougher to prove culpability among church officials. Meanwhile, victims are denied public acknowledgement of their abusers’ crimes, Doyle said.

“The suffering (that the archdiocese’s) silence is inflicting on victims is not consistent with Cardinal O’Malley’s frequent statements about compassion for victims,” Doyle said.

Kelly Lynch, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said the archdiocese is still vetting the plans to disclose additional information about accused clergy, and the names referred to in the council minutes may not be on the final list.

She added that each of the 40 previously unnamed priests referred to in the meeting’s minutes is deceased.

Lynch also said the archdiocese immediately tells law enforcement about any past or present sex abuse accusation against any priest, even if it doesn’t publicly release the name.

Church policy is to release clergy names if they are removed from active ministry or if they are convicted of sex abuse in a criminal or church process.

In the last two days, groups including BishopAccountability, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Voice of the Faithful lay Catholic group have called on O’Malley to release the list.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office said it plans to meet “in the near future” with representatives of BishopAccountability.org, which has asked it to get involved.

The pressure to release the list of accused priests comes two years after a March 2009 letter from O’Malley to an advisory committee, in which he said the archdiocese was considering

improving its policy on releasing information about accused clergy. In the meeting minutes from March 2010, the Rev. John Connolly, Special Assistant to the Cardinal, said the archdiocese was working to compile the list, and that 27 other U.S. dioceses have already released such lists.

“Hopefully, it will also promote pastoral healing and the rebuilding of trust in the Church of Boston,” the minutes read.

But in the document, church officials said several groups needed to be consulted first, including victims, accused priests and their families. The church has also frequently cited concerns about due process for accused priests.

Stephen Clifford, who says he was molested by a priest while growing up in Wellesley, said the longer the church waits, the more credibility it loses.

Clifford, 43, of Natick, said he was molested by a priest at about age 13 after the priest persuaded him to go to his room to listen to a record. The priest has not been named in a criminal matter or civil suit, but Clifford worries he might just be one of his many victims. He said releasing the names could lead others to come forward to get help and possibly rid him of a “lingering guilt” that the abuse was somehow his fault.

“I think every victim, especially a child victim, has that guilt. Like what did I do to cause this?” he said. “I think it

would help just put that away. Like this wasn’t my fault, he was doing it to other people, too.”

But Clifford added that’s a “double-edged sword.”

“On the one hand, I’d know that it wasn’t just me, and on the other hand I have guilt about the fact I that didn’t do anything.

… I didn’t do anything to stop him, and I wish I’d had the courage to do that,” he said.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Joan Hogan says:

    THIS A DISGRACE BY THE CATHO<IC CHURCH ! THE CLERGY ARE NOT IMMUNE TO PUNISHMENT FOR THEIR CRIMES. THIS ORDEAL MAKES MY STOMACH TURN ! I WAS BROUGHT UP CATHOLIC , ALTHOUGH I FIND IT HARD TO WORSHIP WITH PEDOPHILE CLERGY! I THINK I WILL CONVERT TO
    PROTESTANT .

  2. Cynic says:

    Why does WBZ continue to use the “Pedophile Priest”.term? If both the abuser and the victim are the same gender that makes them (Word that WBZ won’t allow in Comments)Pedophiles.

  3. Cynic says:

    How are we supposed to know if the victims are Male or Female if WBZ won’t allow the words Apples or Oranges ?

  4. Patrick O’Malley says:

    This shows the true evil of the Catholic Church management. They continue to hide their pedophiles, and their other child rapists (to Cynic’s point).

    O’Malley seems like a nice guy. That’s what is so deceptive about him. He doesn’t have the guts to do the right thing, because he would lose his job, so he just drags his feet. This makes the crimes more difficult to prosecute

    Signed,
    An embarrassed Catholic

  5. Barbara says:

    I have been a Catholic all of my life and my faith is with Christ and not with the Vatican or the Archdiocese. I am disturbed with the ads that are being run to bring people back to the Church as though nothing happened. Don’t they realize that our hearts have been broken by their actions, especially their coverup, which I believe may continue to this day. They were shepherds and vicars of Christ and they led our children astray. It is written in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke as follows: “Anyone, who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith in me would be better drowned in the depths of the sea with a great millstone around his neck. Alas for the world that there should be such obstacles. Obstacles, indeed there must be but alas for the man who provides them!” — “Obstacles are sure to come but alas for the one who provides them. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone put around his neck then that he should lead astray a single one of these little ones. Watch yourselves.” — “Jesus Instructs the Disciples”
    “And whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck and he be cast into the sea.”

  6. joan Hogan says:

    In The 1980’s A Catholic Hospital which Is Now Closed ( Saint Margarets Hospital For Women ) , WAS A HORROW SHOW ! The Lies And CoverUPS By
    The Staff, Poor Quality Patient Care ,and Threats to Single Moms to take away their Babies. The Catholic Institutions Including The Hospital Networks Have always felt privledged and untouchable. They Felt Superior ! Well their far from it ! I was born Catholic Although I am Very Much Embarassed to say that Iam.
    I feel like this Is a criminal Institution operated by EVIL CLERGY ! THIS IS A church that should be reformed, not lead by Clergy ,but by the people. Enough with the Corrupt ! and pathological Liars.

  7. Barbara says:

    I wrote the information prior to this on March 23rd and I finished with what had been written in the New Testament’s Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke which told us what Jesus had said to his disciples regarding children. What disturbs me most, is that everyone, lay people as well as the Church itself, are bound by Jesus’ words. Thus, every priest in the Catholic Church, perpetrators
    or those who were not, have sinned against what Jesus said, regarding children,by allowing the coverup to happen again and again and to act as though they knew nothing of it as well as saying they were not a part of it. The Church taught everyone, who is part of the Catholic Church, to not sin when it appears, they have all sinnd by allowing this to cotinue by transferring priests from one church to another, to perpetrate this all over again and again. The Vatican said that this only occurred in this country in the beginning and we have found that this has happened all over the world and the coverup continued wordwide. There were even news reports that said that the Pope’s brother was a priest who has been incharge of a boy’s choir in Germany for 30 years, where the same things have happened. We will all have to answer to God one day and I believe that they, who have been in charge of God’s Church on earth, will have to answer to God even more.

  8. BRAD STENDER says:

    THE VATICAN WAS THE BLUE PRINT FOR THE ORIGINAL MAFIA. DEATH TO LAW, LORI, MAHONEY,AND THE LITTLE TWERP WHO RUNS AROUND IN WHITE PJS AND A GIRLS SKIRT.

    I LOVE AND PRAY TO JESUS NOT THE VATICAN. F THEM ALL. THEY WILL ROT IN HELL.

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