Marianists Release List of Accused Priests, SNAP Calls for More Action
Finally, 18 years after US Catholic officials began posting the names of priests accused of abuse on church websites, the Marianist Order has released a list of 46 clerics and brothers found to have sexually abused a minor. Parents, police, parishioners, prosecutors and the public should look closely at this list and demand answers from the provincial as to why it took so long for it to be published.
Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Provincial of the Marianist Order, must explain this irresponsible delay. We also want Fr. Vasquez to take two further steps immediately:
First, the provincial should include the photos and whereabouts of every accused priest and brother, as well as the dates for each of his assignments. Additionally, the list should include information about when the Marianists were first informed of the allegations and what actions were taken in response.
Where these clerics are now is important because nearby parents and prospective employers should be warned about their presence. These other details are important because that information helps victims identify the clerics who assaulted them. It usually takes decades for survivors to come forward. They might only recall that everyone called the priest "Father Mac," not knowing whether he was Fr. Mack Smith or Fr. McGillicuty or Fr. MacArthur. Even parents who are long-time parishioners may have trouble remembering a clergyman who worked in their church just a few months.
Then Fr. Vasquez should aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse using pulpit announcements, church websites and parish bulletins. That information should then be shared with law enforcement, and the Marianists should offer help to the wounded. Fr. Vasquez cannot passively sit back and wait for the phone to ring now that this information has been released. We hope he will begin this outreach today.
(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)