As the Catholic Church struggles to repair the world-wide damage done to its orthodoxy by pedophile priests, it has launched a national effort to disclose the names of priests accused of sexual abuse.
In response, the Diocese of San Bernardino has announced its plans to post an online list of all its priests accused and/or convicted of sexual abuse since its founding in 1978.
On Tuesday, September 18, Diocese spokesman John Andrews said the list will be published on the diocese’s website within two weeks.
The current wave of disclosures follows a Pennsylvania grand jury report released last month which detailed allegations that Pittsburgh-area priests had molested more than 1,000 children.
Subsequently, San Bernardino Bishop Gerald Barnes called a meeting with diocese priests, deacons, religious sisters and others in the community.
“He wanted to talk about what the diocese can do locally to address the genuine angst and disappointment that have come with the release of that report … ,” Andrews said in an interview with KPCC/LAist.
During the meeting a recommendation to publicize a comprehensive list of accused priests was listed as one of the top suggestions.
“That would be done in a spirit of transparency towards the faithful, and also for victims of abuse,” Andrews said. “Sometimes to see their abuser’s name made public is beneficial in the healing process.”
Although victim advocates have called for an investigation in California, Attorney General Xavier Becerra has not shown his hand in this regard.
During a press conference held earlier this month, however, he stressed, “We are very aware of the allegations, the actions that were taken in Pennsylvania and the professed actions that other states are planning to take. California is a leader when it comes to just about everything you can think of. We’ll take a backseat to no one when it comes to protecting our people.”
Header Photo: Bishop Gerald Barnes