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ARCC News 2019
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ARCC News 2019

Why We Need More Info With 'Credibly Accused' Clergy Names

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Contemporary Catholic Belief and Action

 

The mission of ARCC is to bring about substantive structural change within the Catholic Church by seeking to institutionalize a collegial understanding of church where decision making is shared and accountability is realized among Catholics of every kind and conditio n.
Once people start to believe change is possible, 
the drive to achieve it accelerates. 
                                          -   Patrick Sullivan, ARCC President
 
Why We Need More Info With 'Credibly Accused' Clergy Names
Susan Matthews
New York's Cardinal Dolan recently released the names of 120 'credibly accused' priests. His belated transparency is missing a few key details.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan should update his list to include, at a minimum, the work histories of each accused priest so that communities where abusers served know to look for survivors in their midst," according a statement from SNAP issued on Friday. "Similarly, he should include information about when the archdiocese first received the allegations and what they did in response."
The Catholic Church should release work, volunteer and accusation history along with each name. Why?
It Wakes People the Hell Up
Child sex abuse feels very distant to most parents. It's something that happens to other people's kids. When one learns a predator had proximity to their own child, it finally clicks. The betrayal and the potential harm finally make it real. We need that kind of awareness for protection, prevention and justice.
Connects the Dots
Priests can have more than a dozen assignments, chaplaincies and volunteer positions that spread across diocesan and state lines. A credibly accused priest in NY may have once served in a Philadelphia parish. Along with the allegation history, a timeline of positions held helps investigators connect the dots.
And as we've found, the lapse between accusations being found credible and removal can be extremely concerning. If compelled to release this information, Church leadership might accelerate better response to avoid scrunity.
Empowers Victims
Information is power. Victims could finally believe in a world where they may have an opportunity for justice and to protect others. This results in more survivors coming forward. Which...
Creates A Safer Environment
The safe environment programs will be a sham until we demand all the facts, the full truth and crystal clear transparency.

Susan Matthews, served as a sections editor of The Catholic Standard & Times, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She also contributed to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Living Religion section. She received several Catholic Press Awards and a Philadelphia Press Award for Best Coverage in the Public Interest.
 
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