Diocese of Springfield Releases Updated Credibly Accused List
Posted on: June 30, 2021 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse
The Diocese of Springfield recently released an updated list of church officials and employees who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Bishop William Byrne said the new list is part of his commitment to “transparency and healing.” There are 61 names on the list, 21 more than the previous version.
The new list also includes expanded categories of church employees which were not included in the original list of those credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. Those expanded categories include: “priests who were deceased when an allegation was made, those who were members of a religious order and those who were lay employees of the diocese.” Only 5 of the 37 clergy added to the list appear to be alive today.
Two independent raters reviewed each case to determine whether or not the name should be included on the credibly accused list. Jeffrey Trant, the director of the diocese’s Office of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance, said “the diocese has taken great care in the preparation of this list. However, we recognize this information may still be imperfect.” Trant also said that the diocese is committed to providing support to any survivor of abuse should they choose to come forward. Any allegations of sexual abuse will first be reported to a district attorney’s office for investigation and the diocese will begin its own review once the law enforcement investigation has concluded. As new allegations are substantiated, names will be added to the credibly accused list.
Bishop Byrne said his primary motive for releasing the list was to help survivors get the healing and help they deserve. “In order for a wound to heal it must be completely cleaned out,” Byrne said. “If we want people to hear the message of the gospel, they must trust the teller of the story. And until we open our windows and doors and let this truth be known, that trust can never be built.”
Hopefully, the Bishop is true to his word and the Diocese continues to release updates credibly accused lists as more names are added. You can access the full Springfield Diocese credibly accused list on our Massachusetts sexual abuse page.
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