SALT LAKE CITY – The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City is trying a new way to tackle sexual abuse claims. They’re naming all of the priests in their diocese that have credible accusations against them since 1950 on their website.
Accusations of sexual abuse committed by priests have rocked the Catholic Church to its core. Local spiritual leaders say they need to show church members that they’re taking the allegations seriously.
Jean Hill with the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City says, “Now is the time to say, ‘Here’s the baggage of our past, and we hope that this does help folks who have been struggling with the scandal, especially people who were injured by priests.”
The list is made of allegations that have been deemed as ‘credible,’ along with the actions the Catholic Church has taken. So, how do they define credible?
“’Credible’ basically means if you are saying the priest was here in this place at the same time that you were, and that is verified, then that is a ‘credible’ allegation,” she says, adding, “That just means that we’ll look deeper into just to see what occurred in that time and that place.”
Some of these claims include sexual abuse of a minor, internet solicitation of a minor and one accusation of taking nude pictures of a minor. Hill says they also listed the punishments the church imposed to prove the Diocese wasn’t just moving bad actors around.
However, she says the church wants to be careful it doesn’t tarnish reputation of an innocent priest.
“You can’t rehabilitate an innocent person off of that list. I think we’re very confident that those who are on the list are not innocent.”
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