Worcester Diocese Declines to Name Abusive Priests in Report
Posted on: February 10, 2023 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse
The Diocese of Worcester recently released a new report about clergy sexual abuse of minors between 1950 and 2022. However, that report failed to include the names of the priests who were found to have committed the abuse. Not releasing the names of abusive priests was done intentionally by Bishop Robert McManus, who claimed “releasing the names will not accurately reflect the various concerns and outcomes.” Keeping these names hidden goes against the recent trend aimed at transparency within other Massachusetts Catholic Dioceses, and around the country. The Diocese of Columbus, Ohio credibly accused list and the Diocese of Albany credibly accused list both included the names of the credibly accused priests added to their respective lists within the past year.
Advocates for clergy sexual abuse survivors, as well as survivors themselves, argue that the report is a “deceptive cover-up.” According to the diocese’s report, of the 209 allegations of clergy sexual abuse since 1950, only one allegation is from 1998 or later. This, of course, lead the diocese to say it has effectively prevented sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the last twenty-plus years. However, there is a clear attempt at deception here by the diocese since it is well known that most survivors of childhood sexual abuse do not come forward to share their experiences until their 50s, and often times, even older than that. This means that most of those sexually abused by priests after 1998 have likely not reported their abuse yet.
Another red-flag is that the report was not produced by the government or an independent law enforcement authority. Instead, Bishop McManus, with assistance from a diocesan review committee, investigated and ultimately released the report.
According to BishopAccountability.org, the Diocese of Worcester is the only diocese in Massachusetts that has yet to produce a list of names of credibly accused priests. Bishop McManus has said that producing such a list “can be a cause for deep division among many members of our Church.” Yet, by not producing a list, he has already divided the church and is implying that he does not care about what has happened to the survivors of childhood sexual abuse in his diocese.
The entire article can be viewed here.
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