US JE­SUITS RE­LEASE NAMES OF 153 CLERGY AC­CUSED OF SEX­UAL ABUSE

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - WORLD - REUTERS

DEN­VER— Two US chap­ters of the Ro­man Catholic Church’s Je­suit order of cler­gy­man on Fri­day re­leased a list of 153 names of its cler­ics who have faced cred­i­ble ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct span­ning al­most half the coun­try.

The dis­clo­sures come from Je­suits on the West Coast and in the cen­tral United States and iden­tify of­fend­ers dat­ing back to the 1950s.

Writ­ten apol­ogy

Rev. Scott San­tarosa, the head of the west­ern Je­suit prov­ince, apol­o­gized to the vic­tims in a writ­ten state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the re­lease.

“It is in­con­ceiv­able that some­one en­trusted with the pas­toral care of a child could be ca­pa­ble of some­thing so harm­ful. Yet, trag­i­cally, this is a part of our Je­suit his­tory, a legacy we can­not ig­nore,” San­tarosa said.

Decades-long coverup

While some of the Je­suit of­fend­ers were al­ready known, the dis­clo­sure is the lat­est rev­e­la­tion of clergy sex abuse that has roiled the Catholic Church since 2002, when the Bos­ton Globe news­pa­per un­cov­ered a decades­long coverup by the Church hierarchy of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

Since then, sim­i­lar re­ports have emerged in Europe, Aus­tralia and Chile, prompt­ing law­suits, send­ing dio­ce­ses into bankruptcy and un­der­cut­ting the moral au­thor­ity of the lead­er­ship of the Church, which has some 1.2 bil­lion mem­bers around the world.

The Je­suits, for­mally known as the So­ci­ety of Je­sus, is the largest order of male clergy in the Catholic Church, con­sist­ing of some 16,000 priests, broth­ers and scholas­tics, or priests in train­ing. There are 2,150 Je­suits in the United States.

Ter­ence McKier­nan, pres­i­dent of Bish­opAc­count­abil­ity.org, which tracks Catholic clergy abuse, said in a state­ment that the dis­clo­sures marked a “sig­nif­i­cant devel­op­ment,” but still fell short of full ac­count­abil­ity.

De­tailed de­scrip­tions

“De­tailed de­scrip­tions of the al­le­ga­tions should have been pro­vided, es­pe­cially for priests and broth­ers whose names are be­ing made pub­lic for the first time,” he said.

“It is cru­cial to know how long an ac­cused priest worked in a school or par­ish, and in what years.”

The cen­tral US prov­ince said it re­tained a con­sult­ing firm com­prised of for­mer FBI agents, and a “com­pre­hen­sive” au­dit of its of­fend­ers will be re­leased next year.

The US Catholic Church has paid out more than $3 bil­lion to set­tle clergy abuse cases, McKier­nan said.

One of the largest pay­outs by any Catholic order was the Je­suits, who paid out $166 mil­lion to vic­tims, most of them Na­tive Amer­i­cans from re­mote Alaska Na­tive vil­lages or In­dian reser­va­tions in the Pa­cific North­west.—

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