The Winona Diocese has released a list of 14 names of priests that have been accused of sexual abuse. This list contains, the names, birth dates and year which each priest was ordained. It also provides information on whether the priest is still alive, all parishes they served within the Winona diocese, and their current status within the ministry. The Star Tribune reports that of these 14 names only 5 of them are still living. While it is a step in the right direction, we still have a long way to go. As more of these lists begin to surface it will paint a better picture of where and when these offenses have taken place. What’s concerning is that the dioceses has now asked the court and received until February 6th to add additional names to their lists. This creates a lot of questions and doubt in parishioners and the public as a whole. Why has there been so much time given to these parishes to produce these lists? What more could they be trying to hide?
With the amount of time that has passed since some of these accusations have first been brought to attention, what other information has slipped through the cracks? What needs to happen now is fast action. Continuing to allow time to lapse on these cases means we risk losing vital information about them. The dioceses have been given too much freedom to cover their tracks. It’s no secret that they have been consistent in moving pieces to the puzzles around in order to avoid exposure. This should not be allowed to go on any longer. The survivors are who we should be concerned with and getting them the help they deserve, not protecting the offenders.
As the facts keep slowly coming out what we really need to focus on is not only revealing the truth but getting help to the survivors of these crimes. They all have a long road of recovery ahead of them and the more support as a society we can give them the better. The more pressure that is put on the Catholic Churches to stop hiding vital information the better off these survivors will be.
The names are now disclosed, there are more lists that exist in Minnesota, and there are many more names to find.
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.