January 25, 2005

17 Priests Reported Disciplined in Long Island Sex Abuse Cases

The New York Times


Published: January 25, 2005

The child sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic diocese on Long Island has resulted in the defrocking of eight priests and the permanent suspension of nine, while three await canonical trials, the bishop of the diocese said. Two other priests were cleared after inquiries, and proceedings against a third have been deferred, the bishop said.

Without providing names, Bishop William F. Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre reported the status of sex abuse cases involving 23 priests in a three-page letter being distributed this week to parishioners and priests in the diocese, which covers Nassau and Suffolk Counties. No clergyman with credible charges "is working in our diocese or as far as we know, any other," he wrote. Bishop Murphy's letter was first reported on yesterday in Newsday.

Critics said the bishop should identify the suspended and the defrocked priests to protect children, just as the public is notified about sex offenders convicted in court. The critics include the Long Island chapter of Voice of the Faithful, which requested the bishop's report; the national Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests; and Parents for Megan's Law, a national group based in Suffolk.

A church spokesman, Sean Dolan, said that the names of priests convicted in criminal trials had been made public, but that identifying the suspended priests, not all of whom are necessarily guilty, could violate their privacy.

Posted by kshaw at January 25, 2005 01:41 AM