Providence Catholic Diocese is The Latest to Release List Clergy Members Accused of Sexually Abusing Children
On July 1, 2019, USA Today reported that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island released a list of “clerics, religious order priests, and deacons who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.” The list, compiled after reviewing nearly seventy years of church records, was posted to the website of the Diocese and contains the names of fifty people. Of those fifty people, nineteen are still alive and “nearly all” have been removed from the ministry. Twenty-five of the names on the list belong to deceased catholic priests.
Many dioceses have limited the release of names to only individuals where were accused during their lifetimes. The Providence list, however, includes the names of clergy members who died before any allegations came to light. Twelve priests on the list were deceased before the victims came forward with their credible accusations of sexual abuse.
Release of Names Encourages Victims to Come Forward
Bishop Thomas Tobin applauded the release of the list as “a difficult but necessary moment in the history of the church.” Its publishing comes nearly ten years after survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Providence began asking for the names. The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) stated that they hope this will encourage more victims of clergy sex abuse to come forward, as has been the case in other communities.
According to USA Today, more than 140 “religious orders and Roman Catholic Diocese” have published lists of clergy members credibly accused of the sexual abuse of children. Many Dioceses released them in the aftermath of a Pennsylvania grand jury decision. That decision detailed hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse of children at the hands of trusted catholic clergy members.
Catholic Church Settled Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Rhode Island has one of the largest Catholic populations in the United States. The Providence Diocese in 2002 reached a 14 million-dollar settlement with dozens of victims of clergy sexual abuse. USA Today reports that the diocese has settled additional cases since.
Rhode Island, Like New York, Extends Statute of Limitations to File Lawsuits Against Clergy
Like many states, Rhode Island recently passed a law extending the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits to collect compensation. The law provides victims with “35 years to sue their abusers and institutions that shielded them, instead of seven and three respectively.” Similarly, New York extended the statute of limitations by passing the NY Child Victims Act. The Child Victims Act gives someone abused as a child by a priest, bishop, cleric, rabbi, or any other adult until the age of fifty-five to file a civil lawsuit.
Contact Us if You Were the Victims of Aexual Abuse as a Child
Alonso Krangle, LLP can help you enforce your right to collect monetary damages from your abuser and the institution that protected him. Call us today at 516-350-5555 for a free evaluation of your clergy sexual abuse claim.