The disclosure of the 31 new names this past week from the Diocese of Gallup again remind us about the safety component of each of these disclosures. If the former priest is still alive and out in the public, the names and whereabouts of those individuals has to be disclosed. It is the very nature of the nuisance claim, which we have fought so hard for here in Minnesota.
The reality is that this is one of the most important parts of the Survivor cases from the perspective of the community. It is the part of the claim which allows the request for the lists that have been just starting to be disclosed. The nuisance is basically the damage or effect on the community; that the pedophiles due to nondisclosure have been, and in some cases continue to be, a threat to all children.
The new list has those who are still alive. Individuals who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of children. Individuals who should be in prison and registered as sex offenders. The registration is key because it would require disclosure of where they are and where they live. If they are in prison then it would be simple to know where they are.
What we have here are individuals who did not face criminal charges. Where their names were hidden by the involved leaders of the church and were removed from the priesthood and allowed to just head out into the world. As a SNAP survivor pointed out:
“There could be photos of these men,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP victims outreach director. “Where are they now? What are they doing? Are they working in a day care? Are they mentoring kids? Are they coaching a team? Do they still have access to children?”
When you review the church’s disclosure, they seemed to do as little as possible. Saying only ” Previously Published – Assignments to be Updated” with the names they had provided previously. The new names seemed to be either single parish priests , which makes you wonder if they were removed quickly, or sketchy lists of where they were.
The church’s response to the request for where the alive priests were was to say :
the diocese won’t release photos or current whereabouts of ex-priests who are still alive and on the list, to avoid unintended consequences, but she said the diocese has contacted local law enforcement of the areas where these ex-priests currently reside.
If they were concerned enough to tell the authorities, why did they wait so long to say anything? If they really are claiming to be transparent why are they limiting the vital information? It looks to be more hiding.
Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.