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Court orders list of priests said to have abused minors

After the clergy sexual abuse scandal first received notice in Boston back in 2002, a list was apparently created that provided a statistical summary of clergy abuse that allegedly had taken place across the country. The list was commissioned by U.S. bishops and put together by the John Jay College of Law. The list was to provide the names of the priests, the year of their birth, year of the priest’s ordination, the parishes that they served, and their current ministerial status and residence.Various dioceses were asked to submit data concerning this study. The list contained the names of 26 diocesan priests that had been accused of sexually abusing minors. Another seven priests from other religious orders were also named.  The list is now a subject of a lawsuit filed in St. Paul.  A district court judge ruled that one Archdiocese must release the names of these 33 priests before December 17th.  It is said that the Archdiocese has provided information concerning 29 of these priests.  However, the judge stated that information concerning all 33 of the priests needed to be made available.The releasing of the names was apparently in response to new allegations of clergy sexual abuse involving a number of priests.  An Archbishop did promise to release some of the names with approval of the court.The desire to obtain this information is understandable considering the enormity of what is being alleged.  Sexual abuse is generally devastating to victims and can lead to lifelong trauma.  It may prove even more damaging when the victim also happens to be a minor.As it is often difficult for victims to come forward when such abuse has taken place, the assistance of attorneys who understand their circumstances is essential.  This is especially important as sexual abuse cases can involve a variety of psychological, medical and legal issues. Source: Star Tribune, “Judge orders church to release list of 33 accused priests,” Jean Hopfensperger, Dec. 2, 2013

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