The Archdiocese of Baltimore recently made a groundbreaking move to address the ongoing clergy abuse scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church for years. With the direction of Archbishop William Lori, the archdiocese added more than 40 names to its public list of Catholic Church staff credibly accused of sexually abusing children. This marks the largest single expansion of the list since its initial publication of 57 names back in 2002, in response to the national clergy abuse scandal.
This update is particularly notable because, for the first time, the list includes not only priests and brothers but also deacons, nuns, and lay teachers. The additions were approved in an effort to meet the demand for transparency and accountability in light of the recent report by the Maryland Attorney General's Office on decades of clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups within the archdiocese.
While some critics argue that most of the newly added names were already known publicly, the archdiocese asserts that this move demonstrates their dedication to transparency and healing. Christian Kendzierski, a spokesperson for the archdiocese, stated, "The addition of these names to our public database builds on the Archdiocese's long-standing commitment to transparency, healing, and to ridding the Church of the scourge of child sexual abuse."
The report by the Maryland Attorney General's Office identified 36 individuals, including priests, brothers, nuns, deacons, and lay teachers, who had been accused of abuse but were not previously listed by the archdiocese. Survivors of abuse and advocates had long demanded the inclusion of these names even before the report's public release.
While this update represents progress, it comes amidst ongoing legal challenges and public scrutiny. One of Baltimore's prominent Catholic families filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the archdiocese in connection with abuse suffered by Frank Gallagher Jr. The addition of names to the list occurred in the same week that a former Catholic school wrestling coach was acquitted in the only prosecution resulting from the attorney general's investigation.
While progress has been made with the latest update, the archdiocese continues to grapple with its response to the clergy abuse scandal. The inclusion of deacons, nuns, and lay teachers in the list is a step forward, but the road to healing and accountability remains long and challenging.
If you or a loved one are a victim of sexual abuse from the Catholic Church, our team at Miller Stern Lawyers, LLC is here to help. Please call us at 410-LAW-FIRM today. Our legal services are available in English, Spanish, and Hebrew.