The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Victims & advocates want Worcester bishop to “come clean”
Two MA Catholic bishops have promised to release predators’ names
For "public safety & education," groups urge local prelate to do likewise
Worcester is only New England diocese to be “totally secretive” about defrocking
Church officials should prod Vatican to permanently oust “dangerous clerics”
The group will also prod anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes in the Worcester area to speak up, call police, get help, protect others, expose offenders, and start healing.
So the two groups are now urging him to at least begin defrocking these clerics. As best as the organizations can determine, Worcester is the only New England diocese that hasn’t announced that even one of its predator priests has been defrocked.
According to BishopAccountability.org, 325 US predator priests are known to have been defrocked (or laicized); 40 assigned to lives of prayer and penance; and 65 permanently removed from ministry. But none of these 430 disciplined priests is from Worcester. (If the diocese has made such a disclosure, the announcement was inexcusably obscure).
In a 2004 deposition, former Worcester Bishop Daniel Reilly admitted that not one accused Worcester priest had been laicized – an unusual situation given that dozens of diocesan priest have long been known to be child molesters.
This summer, Pope Benedict promised that the Catholic hierarchy would “do everything possible” to prevent future abuse. In light of that pledge, victims and advocates are urging Massachusetts bishops to follow the lead of 24 US bishops and quickly disclose the names of child molesting clerics who have lived or worked in their dioceses. Bishops in Boston and Springfield have both said they will release such lists.
According to BishopAccountability.org, there are 39 accused Worcester predator priests. (The actual number of alleged offenders is likely significantly higher, because BA.org lists only those clerics against whom allegations have been lodged in the public domain – in civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution or news accounts.) Some are deceased, a few are behind bars, but most walk free and live in unsuspecting communities where the groups fear they may still have access to children.
(Here are the numbers of publicly accused clerics in the other three Massachusetts Catholic dioceses: Boston-205, Springfield-47, and Fall River-30.)
In 2002, Baltimore became the first US diocese to disclose names. A good current example is the Philadelphia archdiocese: http://archphila.org/protection/Updates/update_main.htm.)
According to a Worcester Telegram-Gazette article “A report compiled for the bishops shows more than 45 Worcester priests were accused of misconduct since 1950.”
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests