Ohio News Investigation Reveals More Secrecy from Catholic Officials in Ohio and Kentucky
A three-month investigation into cases of clergy sex crimes and cover ups by Cincinnati journalists has revealed disturbing facts and secrets, including that more than half of the accused priests in the tri-state area have never been publicly listed by Catholic officials.
Once again, secular investigations have resulted in more transparency and openness than has been shown by Church officials. The WCPO investigation clearly demonstrates that children and vulnerable adults are still at risk in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky because Catholic leaders still put their convenience and reputation ahead of keeping communities informed and children safe.
According to WCPO, at least 92 priests who worked or lived in the Diocese of Covington KY or Archdiocese of Cincinnati OH have been publicly accused of abuse. Yet Catholic officials in the two dioceses have less than half of that number listed. And making matters worse, WCPO has discovered at least 12 of those clergymen are neither monitored nor known to the public, echoing findings from investigations by USA Today and the AP.Catholics in Covington should demand that their Bishop, Roger Foys, immediately release a list of proven, admitted and publicly accused child molesting clerics. This step has been taken by most of the bishops in the US and it is inexcusable that this information was released by journalists before it was released by the Church officials who ordained, trained, and then quietly moved those priests accused of abuse.
Similarly, Catholics in Cincinnati should demand that Archbishop Dennis Schnurr not only update his list of accused clerics, but should also publicly explain the discrepancies between his list and that released by WCPO. Especially in the light of the Fr. Geoff Drew scandal earlier this year, it seems to us that Church officials in Cincinnati have a lot of explaining to do.
More stories from this investigation will be released as the week goes on, and as those pieces are read, viewed, and shared among folks in the tri-state area, we hope it will encourage survivors to come forward and make a report to law enforcement, Catholics to demand better from their leaders, and members of the public to urge their attorney general to launch an independent investigation. It is clear that the full truth about these scandals will only come from secular sources.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 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)