The Diocese of Harrisburg Quietly Publishes a Supplemental List of Accused Priests
Catholic officials in Harrisburg, PA, have quietly posted an additional list of clerics accused of sexual abuse.
This latest list from the Diocese of Harrisburg is another example of the hairsplitting employed by Catholic officials. According to the explanatory introduction from Diocesan leaders, this supplemental list only includes the names of priests who have been accused and where investigations by the Church or the State have not yet been completed. This list does not include those cases which have been deemed “unsubstantiated” after an investigation.
To us, these statements feel contradictory. This list, then, is more accurately viewed as a list of men that were accused of abuse and who were never investigated.
We are glad for the additional transparency that this list provides. At the same time, it is a mere listing of names and does not include much of the information that is critical for true transparency, including the work histories of each man and the date the allegations were received by Catholic officials.
More critically, this list was quietly published without public notice, something that is completely contrary to the point of these lists in the first place. If the goal is to inform the community, be transparent, and offer healing to survivors, failing to notify the public about this additional information is in opposition to those goals. Rather, this feels like a move done to check boxes as opposed to offer true transparency.
We call on Harrisburg Catholic officials to release this list publicly throughout their diocese and to hold a press conference answering questions about the list. They should also update this list to include work histories, photos of the accused, and details on when the allegations were received and what actions Diocesan leaders took in response. Only when this information is released and made public will this list truly be a step towards transparency.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(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)