Statement by Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester
on the online list of accused priests by the Archdiocese of Boston
Over the past decade, it has been the policy of the Diocese of Worcester to publicly announce to parishioners and the media when a priest has been removed from active ministry due to an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a minor. This policy, in conjunction with other public lists which have been posted by various victims’ advocacy groups, has made it possible via the internet to search for names of priests who have been accused over the course of many decades.
Our Diocesan Review Board and our Presbyteral Council have, however, advised that the Diocese of Worcester not publish any compilation of names, which would be outside the normal practice of any non-profit, educational or governmental organization charged with the care of children and young people. We will monitor the results of the decision by the Archdiocese of Boston to determine if such a policy can, in fact, promote additional healing for those who have been harmed by the terrible crime of sexual abuse of a minor.
The Diocese of Worcester maintains an Office for Healing and Prevention whose Victims’ Assistance Coordinator is ready to assist anyone who has a claim of abuse from the past by calling confidentially at 508-929-4363. This personal approach is available to anyone who is seeking to confirm whether someone who may have harmed them is not still actively serving in ministry.
August 26, 2011, WORCESTER, MA