Victims of sexual abuse criticize the Church | The USA Print

Victims of sexual abuse criticize the Church

Although the Archdiocese of Baltimore prides itself on transparency in releasing the names of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse, the report released this week by the Maryland attorney general’s office raises questions about the integrity of the Archdiocese’s list. Church.

Following the expected release of the report on Wednesday, victims and activists demanded the Baltimore archbishop address the discrepancies, a new demand for transparency in his fight to expose the Church’s cover-up tactics.

They also welcomed the move toward a possible legal remedy: a state initiative passed Wednesday that would remove the current statute of limitations on civil lawsuits against institutions like the archdiocese in cases of child sexual abuse. Similar proposals have failed in recent years, but the prosecution’s investigation has renewed attention on the matter in the current session of state Congress. The bill was sent to Governor Wes Moore, who said he supported it.

The report reveals the extent of more than eight decades of abuse and cover-up within the Archdiocese of Baltimore. More than 150 Catholic priests and others associated with the archdiocese sexually abused more than 600 children, often without accountability, according to the investigation.

The report also names 39 people not included on the archdiocese’s list, which was first published in 2002 and is constantly updated.

The Survivors of Priest Abuse Network, known as SNAP, said in a statement Wednesday that some omissions “may be understandable,” though they called on the archbishop to “err on the side of transparency” for the sake of the victims and others. people.

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The archdiocese acknowledged the discrepancies Thursday, saying none of the 39 people were active in ministry in the Baltimore area, and at least 33 had already died. Archdiocese spokesman Christian Kendzierski said most of those people were not included on the list because they were lay people, such as deacons and teachers; they were never assigned to ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore; or they were first accused posthumously and faced a single unsubstantiated allegation.

Kendzierski said the archdiocese decided to revise its list “in light of the prosecution’s report” and hopes to include more names soon. The report recommended expanding the list to include non-priests, who are already vetted by church authorities.

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