Indiana bishop announces he'll release list of accused abusers in diocese

IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob Roller


SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNS) — At an
Aug. 17 news conference, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, said
that in response to the release of the grand jury report on abuse claims in six
Pennsylvania dioceses over a 70- year period, he will collect and release a
list of the names of priests in the diocese he currently heads who committed
similar offenses.

Bishop Rhoades called the
details of the grand jury “equally appalling and heartbreaking.” He expressed
sympathy and support to the victims and their families, adding, “The church
failed you. For that, I apologize.”

Emphasizing that during his
tenure as bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend he has released the
name of every priest removed from ministry as a result of a credible allegation
of sexual abuse of a minor.

He said he has learned, as a
result of the grand jury, that it also important to victims to see the names of
their abusers made public “for all to see. For everyone to know the pain caused
by these priests.”

“It is my hope,” he said, “that
by releasing these names, the innocent victims of these horrific and
heartbreaking crimes can finally begin the process of healing.”

The list will be compiled
beginning immediately. In closing, Bishop Rhoades reiterated the diocese’s
efforts to regain the trust of the those it serves, and indicated a renewed
vigilance regarding its efforts to protect young people.

The grand jury report on the six
Pennsylvania dioceses included Harrisburg where he was bishop from 2004 to 2009.

He said in an earlier statement that the report “mentions two incidents during my time as bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg.”

“In both of those situations,” he added, “I followed all child protection policies and procedures, notified law enforcement, and took other action as appropriate, since each of the accused priests had already been removed from public ministry due to previous allegations.”



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