- Jan 18, 2020
Victims’ advocates had long criticized the Roman Catholic Church for not making public the names of credibly accused priests. Now, despite the dioceses’ release of nearly 5,300 names, most in the last two years, critics say the lists are far from complete.
Mark Belenchia didn’t stay quiet. He told his mother and his uncle, in the mid-1970s. He told a parish priest, then the vicar general, in 1985. Still, the clergyman Belenchia said sexually abused him when he was a child in Shelby, Mississippi, remained in collar and cassock.
A former priest has sued the Archdiocese of St. Louis, alleging it libeled and slandered him by including him on a list of clerics credibly accused of abusing children.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests sent a letter to Bishop James Johnston Jr., Friday criticizing the current methods of the review boards, which were mandated in dioceses across the country in 2002 after allegations of widespread sexual abuse by priests began to surface.
Separate internal audits of the Catholic dioceses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa have identified nearly two dozen clerics for whom investigators found substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of children.
The Catholic Diocese of Wichita has published a list naming 15 priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse.