Catholic dioceses in Virginia and New Jersey released lists on Wednesday naming more than 200 clergy "credibly accused" of sexually abusing children, joining other dioceses throughout the United States in revealing the names of hundreds of potential predators.
The dioceses of Arlington and Richmond in Virginia released a total of 58 names of priests, while the Archdiocese of Trenton and four other New Jersey dioceses of Newark, Camden, Trenton, Paterson and Metuchen released a total of 188 names.
Arlington named 16 priests, stating the list was compiled by former FBI personnel who were given full access to all information and files from the diocese's founding in 1974.
"For victims and survivors of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, I remain open to meeting with you and hearing your stories. Having met with numerous victims and survivors of sexual abuse, both in group settings and in individual meetings, I continue to be inspired by your strength and your resolve," Bishop Michael F. Burbidge wrote in a letter accompanying the list. "I am deeply sorry for what has happened to you. You can be assured and confident of my ongoing pastoral care."
The diocese of Richmond released another 42 names, as Bishop Barry Knestout wrote a letter stating he hoped the list can "bring about healing to those who have experienced abuse" in the church.
"This crisis calls us to be immersed in three aspects of reconciliation. We need to bring to light the damage that has been done by child sexual abuse in the Church in order for healing to take place. We must express our sorrow and contrition publicly and clearly to acknowledge what we have done and what we have failed to do," Knestout wrote. "We must continue to demonstrate our commitment to never let this happen again."
None of the clergy in either diocese is in active ministry, the dioceses said.
In New Jersey, the Archdiocese of Newark listed 63 clergy members, the Diocese of Camden named 57, the Diocese of Trenton listed 30, the Diocese of Paterson provided 28 and the Diocese of Metuchen named 11. One priest was named on the lists for both the Newark and Paterson dioceses.
New Jersey's list was released two days after a state-wide compensation program for victims of church sexual abuse of a minor was announced.
"While we recognize that no degree of financial compensation can adequately address the suffering endured, this program is a genuine expression of our remorse and our desire to make amends for past transgressions," Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin said. "It is my sincere hope that this program will meaningfully assist victims in their healing and will bring them a measure of peace."
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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