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  Home :: 2006 November :: A bishop names accused priests
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A bishop names accused priests

Delaware prelate reverses his position. Syracuse bishopstill won't release names.
Sunday, November 26,2006
By Renée K. Gadoua
Staff writer

The Wilmington, Del., bishop has released the names of 20priests with "admitted, corroborated or otherwisesubstantiated" allegations of sexual abuse, spurred bythe arrest of a retired Delaware priest living in Syracusesince 1993.

Syracuse Bishop James Moynihan does not plan to change hispolicy of not releasing names, said Danielle Cummings,assistant chancellor and diocesan spokeswoman.

"He's committed to continuing on with theprogram, which is working in the diocese," Cummingssaid.
 

In addition to protecting the confidentiality of priestsand victims, Moynihan cites the Eighth Commandment"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thyneighbor" to defend his policy, which he has followedsince the clergy sex-abuse scandal erupted in January 2002.

The Wilmington Diocese's disclosure Nov. 16 came afterSyracuse police charged the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca Oct. 19with five misdemeanors accusing him of repeated sexualcontact with an underage boy.

DeLuca, 77, of 100 Pastime Drive, Syracuse, was ordained in1958. He ministered in the Wilmington Diocese for 35 yearsbefore he was dismissed from public ministry in 1993 afterhe was accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1960s. TheWilmington Diocese in 2003 in-

formed the Syracuse Diocese DeLuca was living here.

Wilmington Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli said the DeLucacase persuaded him to reverse the diocese's policy.

"By disclosing the names and locations . . . weperhaps in some way may help prevent or deter any furtherincidents," he wrote in a letter published in theWilmington Diocese's weekly newspaper, The Dialog.

The list includes eight living diocesan priests, 10deceased priests and two priests from other dioceses who hadministered there.
 

"It's very little, very late, and verybegrudging," said David Clohessy, executive director ofthe national organization Survivors Network of those Abusedby Priests.

Wilmington joinsabout 12 of 195 U.S. dioceses that havereleased names of credibly accused priests, he said.Dioceses that have done so include Baltimore, Toledo, LosAngeles and Albany.

Cummings confirmed the Syracuse Diocese has removed 23priests from ministry since 2002 as a result of credibleallegations of sexual abuse. About 100 people have accused50 local priests of sexual abuse since 1950. Diocesaninvestigations have cleared nine priests, she said.
 

The diocese has filed requests with the Vatican, seekingthe removal of 22 priests from the priesthood, she said.

Cummings said the Syracuse Diocese last week received wordit was found in compliance with rules the bishops agreed toin 2002 to protect children. The review by the Gavin Groupwas commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Rochester Diocese, which includes Cayuga County, hasfor several years issued news releases announcing actionsagainst priests after determination of a credibleaccusation, said Doug Mandelaro, a spokesman for the RomanCatholic Diocese of Rochester.

According toa 2004 report released by the diocese, since1950, the Rochester Diocese has received 114 allegationsthat named 36 diocesan priests. As a result of thecomplaints, 18 clerics were suspended or resigned.Allegations involving six clerics were determined to beunfounded, and six cases had insufficient information orwere not substantiated, the report said.

The bishops of Syracuse and Rochester have been named asdefendants in a class-action lawsuit asking the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops and 178 American bishops todisclose the names of all priests accused of sexual abuse.

The suit was filed by the family of a Wisconsin man shotand killed in February 2002 by a priest after the manreportedly disclosed information that indicated the priesthad molested children.

Tuesday, the family's lawyer said the family wasremoving Wilmington's bishop from the suit because ofhis recent disclosure of the names of priests accused ofsexual abuse.

Clohessy said he hopes Saltarelli's action will spurother bishops to release names.

"The quickest, easiest and cheapest way to protectkids is to do what he has done: These are the bad guys; bewarned," he said.

Renee K. Gadoua can be reached at rgadoua@syracuse.com or470-2203.

 
 
 
 


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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia