Central New York, Crime, Religion, Syracuse

Bishop Names Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

Video Transcript: Syracuse Diocese

By Erron Franklin SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Roman Catholic Diocese has released a list of 57 priest with creditable allegations of sexual abuse against them.

The list, released on Dec. 3, spans 70 year and is now available on the diocesan website and will also be placed in the diocesan newspaper.

This move is the decision of Bishop Robert Cunningham who wants to rebuild trust with members of the Catholic Church. He detailed his motivation in a letter sent days prior.

In the letter Cunningham talks about “Divisiveness in the Diocese about the release of names.” He also shares his personal thoughts regarding the controversial issue that has marred the reputation of the Catholic Church since the early two-thousands.

“Personally for me, as your bishop, I have prayerfully considered what I can do to help rebuild trust and forge a path to restoring and strengthening the faith,” he said.

One noticeable omission in that letter was an apology. Chancellor and Director of Communications Danielle Cummings explains why.

“To be honest, people have stated they’re tired of hearing the apology,” she said. “They want action. So this time around he [the bishop] decided not to put in the formal apology because he received criticism for constantly apologizing for the actions of the church.”

Earlier this year the New York Attorney General subpoenaed every catholic diocese in the state. An investigation into allegations of sexual abuse and possible cover-up is underway. A clergy abuse hotline and online form where anyone can provide information has also been made available.

No priest with a credible accusation of sexual abuse is in active ministry. The bishops says the “…diocese will not weaken its commitment to keeping children and young people safe.”