Hartford Archdiocese to Name Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

The Archdiocese of Hartford plans to release the names of priests who were credibly accused of sexual abuse.

In a letter given out to parishioners and a video posted to YouTube, the archbishop addressed the issue of sexual abuse by the clergy.

“I wish to announce in January, the Archdiocese of Hartford will be publishing the names of Archdiocesan clergy who have been the object of lawsuits and legal settlements or otherwise credibly accused,” Archbishop Leonard Blair said.

The archbishop said they will also release the names of religious order priests or priests who are from other Dioceses facing similar allegations here. The names will be published next month.

He said the archdiocese will also hire someone to do an independent review of personnel files dating back to 1953.

"I think transparency is always a good thing. We need to let others know what’s been happening and put a face to the abuse that has been happening. It’s such a stain on the church. It’s horrible and we need to do more to make things right,” said Bill Gilbert, of Wethersfield.

In another step, the archbishop said they detail the money that has been spent as a result of clergy abuse and where that money came from. He said this is all in response to hearing recommendations from the Bishops' National Review Board.

"It will be good to start a new chapter, too. Just take care of what we need to take care of and then move on," Patrice Gilbert added.

The archbishop also plans three special masses for early next year. He called them a way to offer reparations, for "the evil that has been done." 

The Diocese of Bridgeport earlier this year announced a similar review of priest files.

Several Roman Catholic bishops urged colleagues last month to take some sort of action on the clergy sex abuse crisis. A grand jury report released in August in Pennsylvania detailed decades of abuse and cover-up in six dioceses, alleging more than 1,000 children had been abused over the years by about 300 priests.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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