A Public Accounting

In September 2002, a list of priests and brothers who served in the Archdiocese and had been accused of child sexual abuse was published. It contained some individuals who had admitted abusing children, as well as individuals who had denied any improper contact with children. A number of the allegations could be corroborated. In a few instances, allegations had been excluded from the list when an investigation concluded the facts did not indicate that sexual abuse occurred.

All victims who contact the Archdiocese are offered counseling and assistance with healing. Every allegation has been reported to the appropriate civil authorities. No one on this list is serving in any ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

In addition to the 57 individuals named in the list, there were 26 priests and brothers about whom we received reports of sexual abuse after their death. Of these, 14 were priests of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and 12 were religious priests or brothers. Two of these allegations relate to alleged abuse that occurred in the 1930s. The remainder of events occurred in the 1940s through 1960s, with the exception of one allegation each relating to events in the 1970s and the early 1980s. In 20 of these cases, a single person had made a posthumous allegation. In six cases, two or more individuals had made such reports.

We have reported each case involving these 26 priests and brothers to the appropriate civil authorities, and have offered counseling assistance to each victim-survivor who has come forward. We have no reason to disbelieve the victims, however, we have determined not to disclose these names since we cannot question to accused. They are no longer a danger to children, and the Lord is now judging them. We pray that any other victims will come forward, so that we may apologize and offer help.

The priests currently serving in the Archdiocese’s parishes are representative of the Church. As the parishioners who make up this Archdiocese know well, they are dedicated to service. We have no reason to believe that any among them has committed the crime and sin of child sexual abuse. I, and my fellow bishops in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, strong support our priests. They are the heart and soul of the Church. They guide the faithful in finding and serving God. I pray that these men are not tainted by the evil acts of others, or by our failure as Church leaders to understand and deal openly and aggressively with the crisis of child sexual abuse.