Brooklyn Diocese Releases Long List of Abusive Priests
In a February 15, 2019 article, NYTimes.com reported that the Brooklyn Roman Catholic diocese released to the public, the names of more than 100 priests who have been “credibly accused of sexually abusing a child.” The diocese is one of the largest in the nation, covering New York City, Brooklyn, and Queens. It’s worshippers reportedly include approximately 1.5 million Catholics.
Dioceses across the nation have been releasing similar lists as the Catholic church tries to cooperate and acknowledge its poor handling of sexual abuse of children by priests. Some view the recent disclosure as just the latest attempt by the church to increase its accountability and transparency. Of the Brooklyn Diocese’s declaration, Brooklyn bishop Most Rev Nicholas DiMarzio stated “We know this list will generate many emotions for victims who have suffered terribly…. I hope it will add another layer of healing for them on their journey toward wholeness.”
Priests Abused Children At Brooklyn High Schools
The list of names released by the Brooklyn diocese is one of the largest to come from any individual diocese thus far and spans decades of alleged abuse. Some of the abuse occurred at the area’s prominent educational institutions. Names of those credibly accused of sex abuse include priests who served for many years at the areas local high schools including St. Francis Prep, Cathedral Prep, Christ the King and Archbishop Molloy schools.
List of Abusive Clergy is Incomplete, According to Advocates
Some victim advocates have applauded this attempt by the Catholic church to increase accountability and transparency by releasing the list of names. However, some individuals believe the Diocese is still protecting members of the clergy. Some strongly suspect that the list is incomplete; that it does not include all of the priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Two-thirds of the people on the list are no longer living The list, also, according to advocates, does not provide the “start and end dates of a priest’s time at a parish, and it also included no information about the nature of the accusations, making it unclear if each man faced allegations from one accuser or several.”
Catholic Church Must Stop Protecting Abusers
Releasing the names of abusive priests may be helpful to victims who have longed for the church to acknowledge the crimes of its clergy members. However, Zach Hiner, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), feels that the list, though useful, was “carefully curated” at the church’s discretion. Sister Sally Butler, a Dominican nun in Brooklyn and a member of Catholic Whistleblowers, shares his sentiment stating “There are some missing names on this list that have me wondering. I think some people are still being protected.”
As victims continue to pursue legal remedies against the church and their abusers, perhaps disclosures such as the one in Brooklyn will become more frequent. Anything short of full disclosure, however, may be insufficient to satisfy the growing number of outspoken victims and their advocates seeking justice.
Contact Alonso Krangle at 516-350-5555 if you have been abused by a member of the clergy and would like to know more about your legal rights.