Diocese of Yakima Releases List of Accused Priests

The Diocese of Yakima has just released a list identifying priests and deacons with “substantiated allegations” of sexual abuse of a minor during their ministries. While this is a good first step from church officials in Yakima, more needs to be done.

The list put out by the Diocese of Yakima is a start, yet it lacks critical information, such as information regarding when the allegations were first received by the diocese and what steps were taken in response to those allegations. Such data is critical to understanding what went wrong in the past, who was involved in the wrongdoing, and what must be done to prevent cases of abuse in the future.

We hope that parishioners and the public in Yakima will push Bishop Joseph Tyson and other church officials to live up to their promise to be “open and transparent” in cases of clergy sex abuse, updating their list as more information becomes available. We also hope that church officials will ensure that this list is announced in every parish, and that Bishop Tyson will personally visit each parish where these men worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistle blowers to come forward and make a report.

It is also notable that church officials in Yakima took the unusual route of creating a separate and unlisted website for their list. While the list is currently mentioned on the homepage of the diocese, we cannot help but wonder if the list will be permanently published on the diocesan website or if it will disappear in the days following this announcement. We hope certainly hope that will not be the case.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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