MOBILE, Ala (WKRG) – SNAP, the Survivors Network for victims of clergy abuse, says that releasing the names of 29 priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors is not enough. The group is urging the Archbishop to work with law enforcement to prosecute the priests and deacons who are still alive.
Here’s the full statement from SNAP sent to WKRG:
Today, the Archdioceses of Mobile, AL released a list of 29 priests who have served in their diocese and been accused of child abuse. We are grateful for this development and urge further action.
Releasing these names publicly is crucial not only for the healing of survivors, but also to encourage victims who may be suffering in silence to come forward and to deter future clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. However, releasing these names is only the first step on the path towards healing and deterrence.
If Archbishop Thomas Rodi is confident in the accuracy of this list, we think he should reach out to Alabama’s attorney general and urge an outside, independent investigation into his diocese and other dioceses in the state. Only trained law enforcement professionals can truly judge when an accusation is credible or not and compel full transparency.
We also believe that Archbishop Rodi should publicize this list permanently on the diocesan website and run it at least quarterly in every parish bulletin. It should include every single proven, admitted, or accused church employee: bishops, priests, seminarians, brothers, nuns and lay people, no matter who supervised or ordained them, and no matter where they originated. In this list, Archbishop Rodi should also put by each name the date when he or his staff first learned of the allegation against that priest. It is important for accountability to find out who knew what, when they knew it, and what they chose to do with that information.
Finally, we encourage anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered abuse at the hands of church officials to contact Alabama law enforcement to make a report, not the Diocese directly.