Name clergy accused of sexual abuse, therapists say
The Diocese of Harrisburg has been reluctant to publicly name all clergy accused of sexually abusing children, but therapists who work with trauma survivors say the Catholic Church should be completely transparent.
Fifteen priests accused of sexually abusing children were identified recently by a York Daily Record investigation. The list of names was compiled using court documents, news articles and other sources. In July, the Harrisburg diocese provided information about those 15 priests. The diocese did not provide the names or other information about all priests with ties to the diocese who were accused at some time of sexual abuse of children, despite numerous requests from the York Daily Record.
In 2007, the diocese said publicly that it had received allegations against 24 priests since 1950, but it did not name those priests.
Naming alleged abusers has some risk, primarily to the institutions or organizations and the accused, “but I don’t think it’s as painful as having this practice be concealed,” said Dr. Frank Ochberg, a trauma psychiatrist and a post-traumatic stress disorder specialist.
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9 out of 10 of the perpetrators are never brought to justice and never appear on sex offender registries.
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