The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse in New York plans on Monday to release a list of clergy “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a child in the diocese, according to new reports.
Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham made the announcement in a letter to parishioners over the weekend.
“The news over the past few months of the tragic failings of the Catholic Church has been deeply distressing and has caused many to lose faith and trust,” Cunningham, 75, wrote in the Saturday letter published by Syracuse.com.
“It continues to weigh heavily on our hearts,” Cunningham wrote. “Personally for me, as your bishop, I have prayerfully considered what I can do to help rebuild trust and forge a path to restoring and strengthening faith.”
Previously within the diocese, the name of an abuser was only publicly confirmed if the victim wished to make it known, Cunningham noted.
“Upon serious reflection and prayer, I have concluded that this practice has become a roadblock to moving our local Church forward,” the bishop wrote. “Additionally, I believe it is not fair to my successor whomever he is or whenever he comes, to leave him with this decision.”
The list the diocese plans on releasing will include “the names of those clergy who have had a credible allegation of sexually abusing a minor in the Diocese of Syracuse over the past 70 years.”
According to Cunningham, the list will be posted on the diocesan website syrdio.org and thecatholicsun.com, the diocesan newspaper.
Both of those sites appeared to be down as of Monday morning.
The list will be made up of names of both “deceased priests and those living priests who have been removed from all ministry,” the letter read, adding, “There is no priest in active ministry with a credible complaint of child sexual abuse and any allegations received have been decades old.”
Cunningham acknowledged that the release “will cause pain for some victims, families of the accused, friends and parishioners,” but added, “we are at a critical juncture in the history of our Church.”
“It is my fervent hope and prayer that this effort will bring some peace and healing to those who have been directly harmed and to all members of our community of faith,” he continued.
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