Duluth diocese releases names of accused priests
- Associated Press
- December 31, 2013 - 5:05 PM
DULUTH, Minn. — The Diocese of Duluth on Tuesday released the names of 17 priests who it says were credibly accused of sexual abuse.
Fourteen of the priests have died. All 17 were removed from the church, are under investigation or were dead when the accusations arose, the Duluth News Tribune reported.
The list also mentions five priests with ties to the area who were accused while working elsewhere.
Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba said the diocese is releasing its list to bring healing on the issue.
"The release of this information underscores a sad truth that must be acknowledged: Over the last 65 years, a number of clergy members in the Diocese of Duluth have violated the sacred trust placed in them by children, youth and their families," Sirba said at a news conference.
The release comes several weeks after a lawsuit was filed against the Duluth diocese on behalf of an anonymous man who alleges he was abused by a priest during the 1970s. The lawsuit asked the court to order the release of the list.
The lawsuit alleges the diocese was aware of previous abuse allegations against the priest but continued to let him work with children.
Within the past few weeks the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona released lists of credibly accused priests, complying with a court order.
In all three dioceses, demands for release of the lists were part of lawsuits filed by Jeff Anderson & Associates, a St. Paul law firm.
"Any time they release information, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, it is a step in the right direction," Anderson told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.
The Duluth list is among those compiled by all dioceses a decade ago in response to a new child protection charter created by U.S. bishops. That list includes the names of credibly accused clergy from 1950 to 2002.
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