(Boston Globe) At least 271 clergy â€” a mix of permanent and visiting priests, pastors, chaplains, deacons, religious order clerics, and nuns â€” have been publicly accused of child sex abuse in the Boston archdiocese, according to a Globe review.
Accusations have led to criminal charges, lawsuits, and reviews by church officials. Priests have been convicted, sentenced to jail, and stripped of their religious duties. In some cases, theyâ€™ve been cleared by the courts and the church.
The archdiocese in 2011 published a list of accused clergy, naming a total of 159 clerics, but it declined to release the names of 91 others, most of whom were dead and, at least as of then, had not been accused publicly. The Globe later revealed that the archdiocese list excluded the names of 70 religious order clerics who had been accused.
The archdioceseâ€™s list has now grown to 166, still without including the religious order clerics, but a spokesman for the church said this week it has not changed the policy of withholding some clericâ€™s names.
The Globeâ€™s review considered not only church records, but court records, news coverage, material from attorneys, and information from BishopAccountability.org, which has closely researched and documented the clergy sex abuse crisis.
â€œWe acknowledge the terrible crimes committed by clergy against children and the failure of many leaders within the church to deal appropriately with these crimes,â€ archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon said in a statement. â€œThat said, the Church is committed to the protection of children while at the same time providing support to survivors and all people who have suffered as a result of clergy sexual abuse.â€
He said the archdiocese has taken â€œaggressive stepsâ€ to bolster training and screening of priests, staff, and volunteers. [More]