Nashville deacon removed from ministry for speaking out about sex abuse
A Nashville deacon who has raised questions about the completeness of the diocese's recently published list of priests accused of sexual abuse has been removed from ministry for "carrying on a public disagreement with the Diocese," according to a letter from his pastor.
In the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, more and more dioceses are moving to publish such lists, raising questions about who is — and is not — on them. Deacon Ron Deal first raised concerns in October, after an email to priests and deacons indicated the list would contain only nine names.
The Nashville Diocese eventually released a list of 13 names on Nov. 2; which was updated and corrected on Nov. 8, mentioning three more priests, including two Nashville priests accused of abuse in other dioceses as well as one religious order priest.
Deal and other victims and victims' advocates believe the list is still incomplete and are calling on state law enforcement officials, including Attorney General Herbert Slatery, to open an investigation into cover-up in all three dioceses in Tennessee.
"We need an independent set of eyes," said Deal, an attorney who formerly worked for the Nashville Diocese as a construction project development manager and headed the diaconate program.
Diocesan spokesperson Rick Musacchio said the October email to clergy was part of "an effort to make [the list] as complete as possible." The voluntary release of names indicates the diocese's "ongoing commitment to transparency, accountability and pastoral care," he told NCR.
Deal said his "conscience is compelling" him to challenge the diocese, although he has no personal connection with sexual abuse. After the Pen...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.