Baltimore archbishop names suspected paedophiles
12 May 2016, 12:36
Washington - The archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland has published the names of 14 Catholic priests or clergy members suspected of paedophilia, a move greeted with scepticism by a prominent victim support group.
The names of the 14 paedophilia suspects were in a list that included 57 others that have been in the public domain since a 2002 investigation by the Boston Globe into sexual abuse of children by members of the Catholic clergy.
The list was quietly published in January by Archbishop William Lori and only disclosed more broadly on Tuesday by the Baltimore Sun newspaper.
"The primary motivation in publicly disclosing an allegation is to encourage anyone else who may have been a victim of that individual to come forward," Sean Caine, a spokesperson for the archdiocese, told the Washington Post.
"We've heard from victim-survivors that one main obstacle is the sense that they're alone. They're the only one. They won't be believed."
According to the victim support group bishop-accountability.org, 31 of 178 US dioceses have published a similar list of suspected sexual abusers of minors. The Baltimore diocese consists of at least 94 parishes.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, said "We're glad Baltimore Catholic officials are again listing predator priests on the archdiocesan website, but wish they would do the same on local parish websites."
"We're sad that this has taken so long to do and believe they can and should do much more to protect kids," the group's outreach director, Barbara Dorris, said in a statement.
Dorris expressed concern that the list is incomplete, and said she suspected the archbishop's aim was to persuade Maryland legislators there was no need to reform the state's "archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations".
The Boston Globe's Spotlight investigative team reported over the weekend on the scope of sexual abuse of underage students by teachers at prestigious private schools since the 1960s.
It found that school officials often either ignored or were slow to respond to sexual abuse accusations involving more than 200 alleged victims.