Naming names

Naming names

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has published a list of names of priests who have been restricted from priestly ministry because of sexual misconduct, including those who are dead but would have the restrictions placed on them if they were alive. Archbishop Dolan says that the goal is to let other potential victims know they can come forward, and to make sure that everyone knows the rests of the priests in the archdiocese have not been accused (including those who have left ministry for other reasons).

I would hope that only the names of those who have either admitted their guilt or had their guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt are listed. It would seem to violate the due process rights of the accused to list them as abusers if that has yet to be established by an investigation. One name is included and it is noted that he is appealing the decision. That’s a case that bothers me because he could yet be exonerated on appeal. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be suspended from ministry, just that listing him on a list of molesters might be premature.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers on this because I’m torn between wanting to get all the molesters and perverts out of the priesthood while still respecting the chance that some innocent men may be accused.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli