The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Cardinal plans to exclude dozens of accused clerics from upcoming list
Long-awaited disclosure won’t include at least 75 "order" priests
O’Malley's silence will endanger children and mislead the public, groups say
To help protect children and inform the public, a Waltham-based research group, BishopAccountability.org, is releasing its own list of more than 75 publicly accused religious-order priests and brothers who have lived and worked in the Boston area. Many have been criminally charged, named in civil lawsuits, or suspended by church authorities because of child sex abuse allegations.
Roughly 30% of US priests are religious order clerics. To work in a diocese, an order priest must obtain permission from the bishop, and, according to canon law, “a bishop can remove an order priest without the superior’s consent (Canon 682).”
O’Malley’s excuse for not naming order priests accused of molestation – his claim that they are “not accountable” to him – is contradicted by “canon law, common decency, and the archdiocese’s implied admission of responsibility in its repeated settlements with victims of religious order priests,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org.
Several of O’Malley’s fellow bishops also disagree with his decision. More than half of the 24 US bishops who have released lists of accused priests have chosen to include religious order priests (e.g., Jesuits, Franciscans, etc) alleged to have molested children. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson AZ told the New York Times in May 2010 that excluding order priests from the lists “doesn’t seem appropriate … Our goal is to demonstrate to the person harmed that the church understood their pain and the harm that had been done to them, and to get as many victims as possible to come forward."
O'Malley's intention to exclude religious order priests from his list was revealed in Minutes of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (see page 3):
Omitting religious order clerics is “self-serving hairsplitting,” victims and advocates say. O’Malley, they maintain, is responsible for the safety of all his flock, and should disclose clerics regardless of which Catholic entity signs their paychecks.
Two MA residents who can speak from personal experience about why O'Malley should disclose religious-order abusers are John Vellante and Bill Nash. Both were sexually abused by religious order priests who worked in the Boston archdiocese. John Vellante can be reached at 978-618-3047. Bill Nash can be reached at 413-219-4312.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests