California’s Diocese of San Bernardino this week released 34 names of the Catholic priests it says have had credible allegations of child sexual abuse made against them since 1978. On Twitter, the church said it was “an action of transparency intended to promote healing.”
Some of the alleged incidents described next to the priests’ names date back to the 1960s. Many of the men have been permanently banned from ministry in the diocese or are deceased. Some priests were arrested or suspended, while others were reported to the religious order.
Church officials said 21 names previously appeared in the media, while 24 had been reported to the police. Five clergy members’ names have never been made public before.
The release comes after similar action by the Diocese of San Diego, which included the Diocese of San Bernardino until 1978, when they split. The San Diego diocese released the names of 51 priests “where the diocese has received a credible allegation involving sexual abuse of a minor.”
Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino posted a letter online following the Monday disclosure, urging any victims of abuse at the hands of a local priest to call a hotline number.
He said, “As we…come to grips with the past and present realities of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, I have made the decision to make public the names of all priests who have ministered in the Diocese of San Bernardino that have credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.”
He continued, “When we read this list, we are pained to think of the many lives that were impacted by the sinful and unlawful acts of those priests who committed them. Some will recognize names on this list, more will recognize the parish communities where they served. It makes this crisis more local to us and may increase our feelings of sadness and outrage.
“I repeat my past encouragement that if you or someone you know has been sexually abused by a church minister, including anyone you see on this list, please come forward and report it,” Barnes said.