Catholic religious orders must come clean about abusive clergy

A clerical sex abuse scandal has rocked the Catholic Church for decades now, and to our way of thinking, full disclosure is the only way for the church to put the scandal completely to rest.

Every independent religious order must follow the lead of the rest of the Church and come clean about abusive priests in their ranks.

A number of those independent orders — among them the Jesuits and Carmelites — have made the only correct moral and ethical choice. They now publicly disclose the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of abusing minors. But other independent orders have stubbornly resisted full disclosure of the details regarding abusive clergy, as the Sun-Times’ Robert Herguth has reported in a recent investigative series.

Take, as one example, the Marist Brothers, who run Marist High School on Chicago’s Southwest Side. The order, as Herguth reported Sunday, kept abuse allegations against a clergy member, Brother Robert Ryan, secret for years while moving him from school to school across the country. Ryan, lawsuits allege, abused minors at every assignment, including students attending Marist in the 1970s.

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