Catholic dioceses across the country are coming clean after yet another abuse scandal has rocked the Church.
The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has gone public as well, as they have released the names of 31 priests with credible accusations against them of abuse.
“We hope the release of this list,” said Archbishop William E. Lori, Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, “will be one of many steps taken to restore trust with parishioners and the broader community in West Virginia. We hope people see the release of this list as a sign of good faith that the diocese is committed to transparency, accountability and to providing a safe environment for children and adults.”
The list released by the Diocese dates back to the 1950s. In its review, the Diocese says that they reviewed more than 2,000 files, which in total contained tens of thousands of documents.
According to the Diocese, a “credible” accusation means that there is reasonable cause to believe that the alleged abuse occurred. Any accusations in which were found by law enforcement, civil, lay and church officials to not be supported by evidence were not included.
“This list undoubtedly reveals the failings of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to fully protect young people within the Church,” Archbishop Lori said. “Rightly, many have a cause for anger and pain. I offer my sincerest apologies to all victims of sexual abuse and vow to strive to take proper action to ensure the safety of children and others in our care.”
If you wish to report a case of sexual abuse by anyone involved with the Church, the Diocese encourages you to call the Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1 (833) 230-5656.