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Naming names: Several Catholic dioceses releasing the identities of priests accused of abuse

Several Catholic dioceses across the U.S. are revealing the identities of priests accused of sexual abuse. Some victims say a lot more needs to be done than just unveiling the accused. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

In an attempt to regain trust and provide transparency to parishioners amid the Catholic Church's ongoing sexual abuse scandals, dioceses across the U.S. are releasing the names and statuses of the priests accused in their respective jurisdictions, KPIX-TV reported.

What are the details?

The Diocese of San Jose is preparing to release a list this month, identifying any current and past accused clergy in the area. But San Jose won't be the first to make such a move — dioceses across the country have already named names in an effort to shine a light on the sexual abuse allegations that have plagued the church for decades.

In August, the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, released the names of 70 clergymen who had been accused in their diocese; last month, the Diocese of San Diego added another eight priests to their existing roster of 48 accused; and the Diocese of Cleveland announced Tuesday that it would be joining three other Ohio dioceses in providing lists.

According to the Los Angeles Times, bishops in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Little Rock, Arkansas, have also made the decision to disclose, and the Diocese of San Bernardino plans to publish its lists of accused within weeks.

While some dioceses are coming clean voluntarily, others could be forced to do so. A civil suit filed by an alleged victim in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday seeks to require 11 California dioceses to disclose the identities of every clergy member accused of sexual misconduct, along with any records documenting the allegations.

What else?

Some victims say a lot more needs to be done than just unveiling the accused.

Survivor Joelle Casteix told the Times, "It's like a serial murderer giving the name of five of his 35 victims. [Publishing lists] doesn't help survivors. It doesn't get predators off the streets. It doesn't invoke fear in the hearts of clerics who may still be molesting kids right now."

During a listening session hosted by the Diocese of San Jose on Tuesday night, Bishop Patrick McGrath acknowledged the damage done to the Catholic Church's reputation amid the ongoing scandals.

"People have lost faith in the institution," he told KPIX-TV, "I'm hoping they have not lost faith in Jesus the Christ. And that's what I pray for. So, yes, it is a long road ahead, but this I hope will be the beginning of that long journey."



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