Indiana follows Pennsylvania


From Catholic News:

Indiana bishop announces he’ll release list of accused abusers in diocese

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNS) – At an Aug. 17 news conference, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, said that in response to the release of the grand jury report on abuse claims in six Pennsylvania dioceses over a 70- year period, he will collect and release a list of the names of priests in the diocese he currently heads who committed similar offenses.

Bishop Rhoades called the details of the grand jury “equally appalling and heartbreaking.” He expressed sympathy and support to the victims and their families, adding, “The church failed you. For that, I apologize.”

Emphasizing that during his tenure as bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend he has released the name of every priest removed from ministry as a result of a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

He said he has learned, as a result of the grand jury, that it also important to victims to see the names of their abusers made public “for all to see. For everyone to know the pain caused by these priests.”


My instinct is to disagree with this. Of course, abuse should be prosecuted.

It is a blot on the Church and an act of unimaginable horror by the men we trust most.

But I don’t see why, should the accusations turn out false, innocent priests’ lives should be ruined.

Due diligence should be kept, and inquiries made, before publishing lists.

The principle of innocent until proven guilty should apply.


That is the correct way to proceed INP
Today is Sunday,prayers continuing .


Listen, I agree that, should accusations turn out true, lists should be published.

I also do not know exactly how this is being prosecuted in that state.

I can only hope the correct degree of diligence is being kept before proceeding.

It’s just that the headline at least doesn’t inspire confidence.


Anyone FALSELY accused should file a defamation lawsuit.


note the word accused

have they been accused in a court of law? No
The grand jury is not a court of law. someone has a thread up responding to the allegations and there is a good description of what the grand jury is.

Lets all just drag innocent people into the mud, via a kangaroo court and media trial.

So why are only 2 people from that list of 300 being prosecuted
And why is the media screaming 300 Priests, when that list of 300 includes laity.

Why is a person born in the late 1800s included on that list.
The Jury, only sits and listens to ‘evidence’ (and I am using that term loosely) complied by the lawyers, then signs a document.
Why is a person who could not have done the crime , because he was dead, been accused of that crime.

seems someone has forgotten to do their homework when blindly publishing that list of 300 ‘priests’ who are not all priests,. but includes laity.

What happened to innocent until proven guilty. Catholics should be demanding better .


how does he know priests committed similar offences, Is he admitting to covering up these offences.
If thats the case, then he needs to go on trial for covering up the offences. He is just as guilty as those whose names he claims to be going to publish who, he claims, committed the offences.

either he is not thinking or the media is not thinking. Because he just incriminated himself as a man covering up crime.

If an allegation is credible, then it has to be tested by the courts. That is the only credibility an allegation can have.


Well, many of these offenses might have taken place decades ago, when he was not Bishop. I doubt many are recent.


What if they are deceased? Many of the Priests in the PA report are deceased, their crimes happening decades ago.


however, if he knew…if he knew it was really happening and genuine…he has no right to point fingers at anyone other then himself.
and then to make a massive apology to the victims and the victims he could have stopped from being victims if only he did something about it.


I agree. If he has been complicit in any cover ups he needs to apologize and resign. But if he had been, I doubt he would share the files.


Unfortunately, “innocent until proven guilty” does not exist for sexual crimes in this country.


I’m afraid that’s the case.

It’s like trying the fight the charge of witchcraft in the past.

Even when you are exonerated people still treat you like are guilty and will always be guilty.


Most of them are probably dead, like in the Pennsylvania case.
Of the ones that are still living, the vast majority will already have been laicized, sent back to their orders (causing their current whereabouts to be unknown), or sent back to the country they came from if they were not US citizens. At best, if somehow they were still priests and still living, they would probably be old men in a retirement home, not working currently in a parish.

The ones who are relatively recent have likely already made the news and everybody knows about them.

Bishop wouldn’t do this if he thought there would be a risk. It’s actually a reasonable strategy at this point with stuff in the distant past to just release the info and make yourself look good, if there’s little or no legal risk to the Diocese at this point from doing so. I am sure he talked to the attorney about this before making the announcement.

I’m betting more dioceses will follow suit once they’ve determined the risk of legal liability is pretty low.


Yes, and if you were somehow innocent, the story would be buried in section C page 16 of the paper in a tiny item, whereas your accusation was front page A-1 news headline.

I can think of exactly one case where the recantation of an accuser made big national news. I think it involved a bishop. I’m going to look that up.


Well, blackening the memory of potentially innocent deceased priests is hardly better…


Would it be a violation of the First Amendment to require that the press give as much attention to spreading news of someone’s innocence as much as they did their charges/guilt?


If he doesn’t release the names, some “grand jury” will do it and make them look even worse.

Sometimes it’s better to put your own “spin” on bad news that’s going to come out anyway.

Besides, those deceased priests have already been judged by God. Their fate is determined one way or the other. Nothing that happens on earth can affect them.


Well, I’m not saying that’s better I am saying bishops have a special duty to their priests, and I don’t think revealing such horrible accusations without absolute certainty comes under that duty.


Yep. You can’t compel speech.

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