January 11, 2005

Survivors seek abusers' names on diocese Web sites



A national victims' group has asked Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre and four other bishops who worked under disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston to post the names of known and suspected abusers on their diocesan Web sites as a way to protect children.

"Given your role in Boston, the epicenter of this catastrophic episode in the church, we believe you can and should do more," said the letter from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which includes thousands of victims of priest sex abuse across the country.

The letter from Chicago-based SNAP, which has chapters nationwide, was e-mailed to Murphy and other bishops who were top aides to Law on the third anniversary of the Boston Globe series about the cover-up of priest sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston. That series sparked revelations of cover-ups around the country leading to the suspension of more than 700 accused priests nationwide.

It asks the bishops to implement what SNAP called "common-sense safety precautions" -- most importantly, to disclose and publicly post the names of accused priests. Although every U.S. bishop is required to remove priests found guilty of sex abuse under a national policy, they have considerable latitude about how to handle the cases. Hence, Murphy does not routinely disclose the names, while bishops in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Toledo publish that information to varying degrees on their diocesan Web sites.

Posted by kshaw at January 11, 2005 09:02 AM