The Catholic Church’s New York Archdiocese released the names of 115 priests and five deacons it said credibly sexually abused minors or credibly possessed child pornography Friday. The church said the crimes mostly took place from the the 1950s through the 1990s, with two cases occurring after 2002.
“I write today as someone who himself realizes the shame that has come upon our Church due to the sexual abuse of minors,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of the New York Archdiocese, wrote in a letter to parishoners. “I write to ask forgiveness again for the failings of those clergy and bishops who should have provided for the safety of our young people but instead betrayed the trust placed in them by God and by the faithful.”
Dolan added that none of the 120 named are currently in the ministry. The archdiocese also clarified that, while the list includes clergy members who were ordained in New York, it does not include “priests belonging to religious orders or institutes, many of which have already released their own lists of accused priests, nor ‘extern’ priests who were ordained in other dioceses.”
Among those named is Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was the Archbishop of Washington DC before being defrocked in February over sexual abuse allegations. Another high ranking official named, Bishop John Jenick, is currently under investigation by the Vatican. Jenick was removed from public service in November over reports that he behaved inappropriately with a teen boy in the 1980s, the Associated Press reports.
Of the 120 men on the list, 53 either admitted to abusing a child, were convicted for abuse, or were involved in a financial settlement over allegations of abuse; most of these men have passed away or have been defrocked. Separately, 60 clergymen on the list died or left the church before survivors brought forward allegations that resulted in settlements from the archdiocese.
Survivors’ advocates said the release of the list was a positive first step, but argued the list remains incomplete given it doesn’t include the clergy’s work histories or the exact allegations against them.
“It’s certainly a good thing that they’ve come out with the list,” Terry McKiernan of the watchdog group Bishop Accountability told the Associated Press. “Do they still not see that this very, very reluctant way of offering information about the crisis is the wrong way for them?”
The New York Archdiocese did not comment on its decision to omit certain details from its list, but did reveal how it decided who to include. It explained a review board investigated whether allegations were “credible and substantiated,” while noting the board did not “adhere to the same standards as a court of law.”
The New York Archdiocese is the second largest in the country after the Los Angeles Archdiocese, and is comprised of 2.8 million parishioners, 300 parishes, and 200 schools. In the past three years, 350 people have been paid a total of $65 million through an archidiocese-run victim compensation program, according to spokesperson Joseph Zwilling.