Seattle archdiocese publishes list of clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors

The Seattle archdiocese published Jan. 15 a list of clergy and religious "accused of sexual abuse of a minor who have served or resided in Western Washington," according to an archdiocesan press release.

"The individuals named on the list posted to the archdiocesan website have allegations that are either admitted, established or determined to be credible," the release said.

According to the release, "Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain apologized for the actions of those who abused minors" and said publishing the list builds on the archdiocese's efforts at transparency, accountability and urging victims to come forward.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), however, issued a press release the same day, saying "every time a predator's name is publicized, kids are safer," but also charging it "suspects this is an incomplete list that was prompted by external pressure."

"Seattle Catholic officials should have disclosed and posted these clerics' names long ago. Now, they should put it in each parish bulletin, several times a year, and permanently on each parish website," Seattle SNAP officials said, adding, "About 30 U.S. bishops have taken this step, almost always belatedly, grudgingly, incompletely and only because parishioners, prosecutors or lawmakers prod them to do so."

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The Seattle Archdiocese was embarrassed and harshly criticized in May 2014 when it came to light that a priest who had been removed from ministry a decade earlier had nonetheless continued to wear clerics, socialize with parishioners, and perform some baptisms, weddings and funerals.

Members of the archdiocesan review board for sex abuse cases had strongly recommended in 2004 that the name of Fr. Harold Quigg be made public. Now-retired Archbishop Alexander Brunett rebuffed the recommendation.

The U.S. bishops' conference website carries the names of archdiocese's Safe Environment Program coordinators.

The National Safe Environment and Victims Assistance Coordinators Leadership Conference is scheduled May 15-18 in Denver.

How well officials, notably bishops, are doing on addressing sex abuse within the church remains under criticism, including a request for Vatican investigation of the U.S. bishops' policies and actions, reports NCR's Brian Roewe.

One victim of priest sex abuse, Monica Collins, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, has expressed both frustration and hope for the work of that Vatican body.

[Dan Morris-Young is NCR's West Coast correspondent. His email is dmyoung@ncronline.org.]


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