BOSTON (Reuters) – A Boston-area attorney for hundreds of clients who say they were abused by priests released on Wednesday a list of what he says are 117 members of the clergy or religious orders accused of abusing minors.
Mitchell Garabedian said he released his list to help victims heal and because the Archdiocese of Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has failed to release names as he said he would years ago.
The list includes 18 names from the Archdiocese of Boston not previously tracked by BishopAccountability.org, a Massachusetts-based group that maintains a database of accused priests nationwide.
Most of the names on Garabedian’s list are located in the Boston area. The priest sex abuse scandal, which has rocked the Roman Catholic church worldwide, first erupted in Boston nearly a decade ago.
“It’s very important to victims that the truth be told and releasing the names of pedophile priests is telling the truth,” Garabedian said ahead of a news conference with a number of abuse survivors and members of BishopAccountability.org
Asked to respond to release of the list, the Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement it is committed to the protection of children and ensuring that “the sexual abuse crisis is never repeated.”
“We remain committed to augmenting our present policy in the area of disclosing additional information about credibly accused clergy,” the statement said.
“We continue to evaluate the complexities of this initiative, especially those associated with disclosing information relating to deceased priests or those accused of a crime, whose guilt or innocence has not been established, and the serious due process concerns this presents,” it said.
The attorney said he has represented more than 750 victims against the 117 members of the list.
BishopAccountability.org currently tracks about 3,200 names of accused priests compiled over several years from news reports and public documents, said founder and co-director Terence McKiernan.
(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton)