Catholic dioceses release updated lists of alleged abusive priests

The era of the Catholic Church in the U.S. acting as its own police to its clergy may finally be over.
Over the past week, the Jesuits West Province has released updated lists of priests implicated or involved in sex abuse cases.
Most of them served in Arizona, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Church leaders from coast to coast have also have been releasing, or are promising to release, updated lists by early 2019.
This includes the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, releasing the names of 54 priests, most of whom are dead or defrocked, and 30 new names who had not been publicly identified before. It’s the first time the archdiocese has publicly updated its list of abusers since 2008.
In what is titled as the “Report to the People of God,” Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez assures transparency about the sexual abuse cases the archdiocese faces.
 “The one you allege to have hurt you will be removed from ministry while your allegations are fully investigated by law enforcement and by our oversight board.”
Advocates for abuse victims say that the release of the updated list is not enough and that according to California state records, the California Catholic Conference spent more than $86,000 to fight a bill — vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown in October — that would have given survivors of childhood sexual assault more time to sue those who failed to stop their abuse.
But attorney Cherisse Cleofe, who’s firm lead the litigation against Southern California archdioceses in the mid-2000’s and winning a billion dollar settlement on behalf of the victims, says the fight is for justice, not money.
“It’s about acceptance of truth. It’s about having what happened to them be recognized and having the facts be brought out there,” said Atty. Cherisse H. Cleofe.
Cleofe showed a wall of binders in their office, containing hundreds of cases against Catholic clergy they have represented over the years.
But she adds that fighting for the victims of abuse should not be an issue of faith, but of justice.
“For me, the teachings of the church is about good and bad. And justice is really about rooting out the bad.”
We reached out to a Filipino American Catholic organization here in Los Angeles, and although they requested not to be shown on camera, they say they support the latest move of the archdiocese and they pray for healing and forgiveness of all those involved.
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