SNAP and ECA Send Letter to USCCB Regarding Lists of Abusive Clergy
Leaders of SNAP and Ending Clergy Abuse Global have sent a letter to Bishop Timothy Doherty, Chair of the USCCB Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People. The groups are asking that Bishop Doherty demand that the remaining dioceses, archdioceses, and religious orders in the United States immediately publish lists of abusive clergy. A copy of their letter is below.
Dear Most Reverend Timothy L. Doherty,
The Theodore McCarrick Report once again highlights the systemic failures by the hierarchy that have plagued the Roman Catholic Church concerning clergy sexual abuse. The public has no confidence that anything will change. The culture of secrecy is still intact.
As advocates for survivors of clergy sexual abuse and the prevention of future cases of abuse, we again call you to the openness and transparency that the USCCB promised in 2002 and demand that those remaining bishops in the U.S. who have refused to publish a list of accused clergy do so before year’s end. As the USCCB gathers virtually in the coming week to discuss matters important to the church, nothing is more important a priority than the protection of our children and justice for survivors.
At this point, 178 dioceses and religious orders across the United States have released lists of credibly accused, an important step forward that both validates the experiences of survivors and helps create informed communities that can better prevent future cases of abuse. Yet there remain too many dioceses and archdioceses that have refused to take this simple step to support survivors and prevent abuse.
Among others, we call upon you to demand the prelates of the below dioceses do their duty to parishioners and the public:
- The Archdiocese of Miami, FL
- The Archdiocese of San Francisco, CA
- The Archdiocese of the Military Services, DC
- The Diocese of Fresno, CA
- The Diocese of Colorado Springs, CO
- The Diocese of Pueblo, CO
- The Diocese of Palm Beach, FL
- The Diocese of Venice, FL
- The Diocese of St. Augustine, FL
- The Diocese of Honolulu, HI
- The Diocese of Covington, KY
- The Diocese of Fall River, MA
- The Diocese of Worcester, MA
- The Diocese of Portland, ME
- The Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI
- The Diocese of Kalamazoo, MI
- The Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY
These seventeen dioceses and archdioceses are preventing their parishioners and parents in the pews from knowing the reality about clergy sexual abuse. Together, these archdioceses and dioceses represent more than 8.3 million Catholics, a massive number of parishioners that are learning they cannot rely on their church leaders for accurate information about abuse within their borders.
It does not make sense – from neither a moral nor strategic perspective – to allow these parents and parishioners to remain uninformed by church leaders. Choosing not to release information is an active choice to allow these worshippers to learn about the scope of abuse through the media. This is one area in which bishops and archbishops must lead if they are to restore faith in the church.
Bishop Doherty, the fact that you yourself have taken this step leads us to believe you recognize why it is important to survivors, parishioners, and the public. Use your own example, and that of nearly 180 other dioceses and religious orders, to require the remaining holdouts to release of these lists now.
Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director
Tim Lennon, SNAP Board President
Peter Isely, ECA Founding Member
Tim Law, ECA Founding/Board Member
Dr. Denise Buchanan, ECA Founding/Board Member