The Catholic Diocese of Lansing in Michigan just disclosed the names of 17 priests that the church says have been “credibly accused of abusing a minor.”
Interestingly enough, the list of credibly accused clergymen goes all the way back to the founding of the diocese in 1937. Officials say there have been no cases since 2002.
Despite the unlikelihood of that being a completely accurate picture of all the abuse that has ever gone on in this diocese, officials were praised for their transparency.
In a statement issued on Friday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s spokeswoman Kelly Rossman-McKinney said, “The Lansing Diocese has taken an important step today by publicly sharing information about priests who have been credibly accused of abusing minors. We welcome this transparency by the Diocese and will continue to work on our own efforts to pursue justice for the victims of clergy abuse.”
While I’m also happy to have this list of abuser names, it’s worth noting that every single person on the list is dead or no longer a part of the church. Apparently, the diocese is fully cleansed of bad behavior.
All of the priests included in the list are now either dead or no longer in active ministry, according to Diocese officials. They represent about 2.8% of all 1,654 priests who have served within the Diocese of Lansing in its 82-year history. Furthermore, diocese officials said more than 90% of those allegations stem from a three-decade period beginning in the 1960s.
Diocese officials say there have been a total of 73 allegations against these 17 priests and the alleged victims in these reports include 66 boys, four girls and three other victims whose gender was unreported.
One bishop actually said he hopes publishing the list will lead to more people telling their stories.
“The primary intended audience of this list are victims of abuse: to encourage presently unknown victims to come forward; to help victims expose their abusers; and to assist victims in finding healing — it is also hoped that this information will assist all to ensure that such abuse never happens again,” Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing said in a statement Friday.
“I know I am not alone in feeling deep shame and sorrow upon learning of the plight of victims in recent years. I have met with many of them; all deserve our compassion, solace and support,” his statement continued. “As a Church, we are deeply sorry for what happened to you. As your bishop, I offer you a profound apology for the sins of my brothers. As a diocese, we are pledged to help you find healing and peace.”
I couldn’t agree more. It is up for this church, as it is for all churches, to make up for the damage it has done to kids.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Andrew for the link)