Many Catholic dioceses have released lists of “credibly accused” clergy members who have been named in sexual abuse allegations. Church officials have stated that names of clergy members were added to the lists when evidence could substantiate an allegation of abuse. While survivor advocacy groups urged such transparency for years, many critics warn these clergy abuse lists remain inconsistent and incomplete in many cases.
One of the major criticisms of clergy abuse lists released by local dioceses is their omissions of key details about the abuse. There is a wide range of information published by individual dioceses regarding abuse allegations. Some publish only the name of the credibly accused priests, while others include more helpful details, including where the priests worked, the number of individuals believed to have been abused, and the nature of the abuse. Advocacy groups working on behalf of abuse survivors urge full disclosure and transparency in addressing this crisis.
Other survivors report their abusers have never been added to a clergy abuse list even after the survivor received compensation from the diocese as a result of the abuse. Not every diocese has been diligent in updating the lists, resulting in inconsistency from one state to another. Many view the resultant delays as another example of the Church’s ongoing concealment of abuse. By covering up allegations, transferring abusive priests from one parish to another, and pressuring survivors not to come forward with their claims, the Church has created a culture of silence, making it difficult for many survivors to come forward and seek justice.
With no governing protocols for compiling and releasing these lists, individual dioceses are left to their own judgment in deciding when and what to release to the public. Survivor advocacy groups have created their own interactive databases filled with these names, which can be accessed and searched by the public. The Church itself has not successfully mainstreamed its reporting system to allow for effective cross-checking of abuse allegations.
By filing a civil lawsuit against abusive clergy members, survivors may be awarded damages for costs of medical and psychological treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Seven states, including New York and New Jersey, have recently changed their statutes of limitations to allow individuals who experienced abuse to file their claims, regardless of when the abuse was committed. The first step in holding those parties who committed sexual misconduct responsible for the actions is to contact an experienced Metuchen clergy abuse lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system.
If you suffered clergy sexual abuse, compensation may be available. At Williams Cedar, our experienced Metuchen clergy abuse lawyers aggressively represent clergy abuse survivors as they seek the justice they deserve. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey to serve clergy abuse survivors and their families throughout New Jersey. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 856-470-9777 or submit an online inquiry form.