We rarely do such news conferences. In St. Louis, over the past decade, we have done this perhaps four times, and only with survivors who are very credible. Usually, we have spent hours and hours with those survivors and sometimes they have physical evidence and/or witnesses.
The possibility of mistaken accusations does, of course, exist. However, we know of only three civil lawsuits (out of hundreds) that have been withdrawn by survivors' attorneys because of doubts about the truth of the accusations.
Sometimes, painful choices must be made. Our advice to bishops has been consistent: if forced to choose between protecting an adult's feelings or a child's safety, the child must come first.
I can think of only two things worse than being falsely accused of child abuse. One is actually being molested. And the other is being molested and ignored or not believed.
It's far easier for an adult to repair his or her reputation than it is for a kid to repair his or her entire life.