71 Catholic Priests’ Names Exposed for Sexually Abusing Children
List of names of pedophiles made public as gag order waived
The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has released a list of more than 70 of its clergy members accused of sexually abusing or having inappropriate contact with children in cases dating back decades.
Bishop Ronald Gainer also announced sweeping changes to confidentiality policies and said the names of any men accused of such crimes would be removed from any place of honor in the diocese.
These changes pertain only to the Harrisburg diocese, which covers much of central Pennsylvania.
Gainer apologized profusely for abuses that occurred over many years. He said the church was releasing a list of every allegation made in recent decades against clergy in the diocese that had not been disproven.
The Diocese of Harrisburg announced during a press conference that they will waive the gag orders in a child sex abuse investigation and release a list of names of those accused of abuse.
Here’s the full list:
Here is the statement released from Bishop Gainer on child sexual abuse:
FOX43’s Jack Eble was at today’s press conference, which you can view here:
According to Fox43, of the 71 names included on the list:
37 were priests of the Diocese of Harrisburg
3 were deacons of the Diocese of Harrisburg
6 were seminarians of the Diocese of Harrisburg
9 were clergy members from other dioceses
16 were from religious communities
42 of those named are now dead
3 names are unaccounted for
The Office of Attorney General issued the following statement in response to a news conference today by the Diocese of Harrisburg.
“It is long past due for the Diocese of Harrisburg to make public the names of predator priests within the Catholic Church,” said Joe Grace, spokesman for Attorney General Shapiro.
“Their proclamations today only come after intense public pressure and in the face of the imminent release of the Grand Jury report exposing decades of child abuse and cover-up.”
“Per last week’s Supreme Court Order, this month the Office of Attorney General will publish an honest and comprehensive accounting of widespread sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses.”
“To this point, the Diocese of Harrisburg has been adverse to transparency and has not been cooperative.
A now public opinion by the judge supervising the Grand Jury last year made it clear they sought to end the investigation entirely.”
“The true test of the Diocese’s commitment to victims of abuse and reforms within the Church will be their actions following the release of the report.
"Attorney General Shapiro has consistently called for the elimination of the criminal statute of limitations and reforms to the civil statute to give all victims the opportunity to obtain justice in a court of law.”
If you or someone you know needs to report abuse, follow the instructions on the below graphic to report it to the proper authorities:
Survivors of abuse react to the news
YDR reports: Todd Frey, who said he was abused by a York priest in the 1980s, said Wednesday's news finally shatters the facade that the Harrisburg diocese had fewer problems than others.
"I felt oftentimes like the Diocese of Harrisburg, they paint themselves in a rosy picture ... as if they're a little different, better," he said.
The news shows "the Diocese of Harrisburg is not that clean," he said.
Frey's attorney, David Inscho, called the diocese's announcement "a public relations attempt" to get ahead of the expected release of a grand jury report next week.
"This information should have been disclosed and made fully transparent many years ago, not at the 11th hour," Inscho said.
Sharon Tell followed the news Wednesday.
In the morning, her daughter came over to her, holding her phone and showing her a news alert.
“Look, Mom, what’s happening,” Tell’s daughter told her.
Tell, 66, previously told the York Daily Record/Sunday News that she was sexually abused by a priest beginning at the age of 12.
She said the abuse occurred while her family attended a church in the Allentown diocese.
The priest, Msgr. James McHale died in 1997.
Tell, who now lives in Lancaster County, has followed the recent news coverage of the grand jury investigation into Pennsylvania dioceses. She said she hasn’t been impressed with the Harrisburg diocese’s recent actions.
“If they really cared about the people that were abused they wouldn’t have had to wait until it’s so public,” Tell said.
“They could have done something to help us way back when.”
Susan Blum, 65, said she hopes the release of the names will help victims realize they weren’t the only ones abused.
“I’m hoping that this will be a start for healing for a lot of people,” said Blum, who lived in York County until recently.
In 2016, Blum told the YDR that she was sexually abused by a priest in the Boston area when she was 15 years old.
She said she didn’t tell anyone about the abuse until about five years ago when she found the priest’s name on www.BishopAccountability.org and saw that he had abused at least one other, and she knew she wasn’t alone.