Baltimore cardinal's naming of accused priests stirs debate

Posted: Friday, October 04, 2002

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A report issued by Cardinal William Keeler naming all area priests who have been the object of credible sex abuse allegations over seven decades has provoked criticism from some Roman Catholics.

In a letter last week to all parishioners, Keeler named 57 accused priests, none of them currently in active ministry. All cases were reported to civil authorities, he said.

Keeler did not name 26 other accused priests who are dead and could not reply to charges. Of all those accused -- both dead and alive -- 41 were priests of the archdiocese, while 42 were members of religious orders or priests from other dioceses working in the area.

Some Baltimore priests, and church and civil authorities elsewhere, questioned naming accused priests who have not been investigated by police or convicted of crimes. Keeler said the names were released to encourage other victims to come forward and receive treatment.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the report was overdue and should have been compiled by an independent panel, not the archdiocese.

The cardinal also revealed the archdiocese had spent $5.6 million on abuse cases in the past 20 years, including $4.1 million in settlements to eight victims, most of that covered by insurance. The rest was spent on therapy for victims and offenders and living expenses for suspended priests.


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