Good move by Maine attorney general

Good move by Maine attorney general

I’m in agreement with the Maine attorney general. He is refusing to release the names of dead priests who have unproved allegations of sexual misconduct in their files.

The AG says releasing the names would set a precedent, since government files contain a lot of information that is unsubstantiated—and probably not true—that would do a lot of harm to the individuals’ reputations as well as their surviving familes and descendants.

“To disclose such information - especially against individuals who are deceased and therefore cannot defend their legacy - would do a disservice to our private citizens and public figures, as well as their survivors.”

One of the tenets of our justice system is the right to defend yourself and to face your accusers. If a person is dead, he can do neither. And what good does it do to release that information, except in the aggregate.

The AG has said that “x” number of priests were accused and that such-and-such percentage of cases were handled thusly. But the release of names would do no one any good.

It’s instructive that the primary forces behind the lawsuit to release the names is Maine’s largest newspaper. It might be one thing if it were the victims, but this is the press looking for a story. They have no one’s interests at heart, but their own. They would love to have another big splashy story naming alleged abusers to put on the front page and sell papers.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli