Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bishop says he'll consider naming names

Confronted by the founder of a Web site dedicated to exposing "bishops who have abused children or vulnerable adults, or have aided abusers," Bishop John B. McCormack agreed yesterday to consider posting names of some accused clergy.

McCormack helped celebrate Mass at St. Catherine of Siena and was greeting parishioners in the church hall when Terry McKiernan asked him about the diocese's policy of not listing accused priests on the Diocese of Manchester Web site.

McKiernan founded BishopAccountability.org as a way to publicly list accused clergy.

"Our list now has over 3,000 people on it, which is pretty sad, and the bishops have admitted to over 5,000," McKiernan told the New Hampshire Union Leader moments after his conversation with the bishop. "I suspect the real number is something like 10,000, which is pretty gross when you consider what we are talking about."

During the brief conversation, McCormack told McKiernan the diocese would not list the names of all the accused priests, but would consider listing priests that have been laicized or assigned to prayer and penance, and are no longer active in ministry.

"I said I would think about it, because I hadn't thought about it," McCormack said afterward.

"This was a social situation, but I take him at his word," McKiernan said. "He won't be alone. Milwaukee has done it, Philadelphia has done it. I think there is a bit of a movement in the right direction on this and Bishop McCormack could get out in front a little bit and help this movement gather some momentum."

On Friday, BishopAccountability.org called for the elimination of the statute of limitations on criminal and civil cases after files released by the Attorney General's Office included 26 new names of clerics and two nuns and more than 100 new allegations.

The new allegations include more than two dozen brought against at least 18 dead diocesan priests and members of religious orders, the files show.

McKiernan, a Massachusetts resident who attended Mass yesterday morning at St. Catherine, waited in line with parishioners to speak with McCormack. He brought a camera with him and asked a parishioner to take a picture of him posing with the bishop. The two then talked for a few minutes.

McCormack mentioned that a list of accused priests can be found on BishopAccountability.org before McKiernan identified himself and gave the bishop his business card.

"He was probably relieved I wasn't shouting at him," McKiernan said.

McCormack told the New Hampshire Union Leader afterward that he didn't know McKiernan was going to be present.

"It's a conversation," McCormack said. "It was a very good, candid, cordial and very respectful conversation. There was nothing tense about. It's always good to talk with people who are concerned about this and to encourage them to look to what the church has done and is doing.

"Our own desire is to have the best system possible for the screening of people, for the protection of children and for any kind of reporting."
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(Source: TUL)

1 comment:

Telling it like it is said...

This list should be made available worldwide of Priests in every country so that the public know exactly who has abused etc.

It should be the duty of the Dublin Diocese website to carry the list but imagine trying to tell His Grace that!!!!!!!!!

We could say pigs will have more chance of flying over the Pro Cathedral in formation singing his praises!!!!