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AP Has Big Issues With Church Sex-Offender List

Over 900 accused clergy members are missing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 28, 2019 4:30 PM CST
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In this Dec. 18, 2019 photo, Joey Covino poses for a photo at his home in Saugus, Mass., with a photo of himself as a 9-year-old boy. Covino was abused by Rev. Richard J. McCormick at a summer camp in Massachusetts in 1981.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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(Newser) – Richard J. Poster served time for possessing child pornography, violated his probation by having contact with children, admitted masturbating near a church school, and in 2005 was put on a sex offender registry. And yet the former Catholic priest was only just this month added to a list of clergy members credibly accused of child sexual abuse—after the AP asked why he was not included. Victims advocates had long criticized the Roman Catholic Church for not making public the names of credibly accused priests. Now, despite the dioceses’ release of nearly 5,300 names, critics say the lists are far from complete. An AP analysis found more than 900 clergy members accused of child sexual abuse who were missing from lists released by the dioceses and religious orders where they served.

More than a hundred of the former clergy members not listed by dioceses or religious orders have been charged with sexual crimes, including rape, solicitation and receiving or viewing child pornography. On top of that, the AP found another nearly 400 priests and clergy members who were accused of abuse while serving in dioceses that have not yet released any names. "No one should think, 'Oh, the bishops are releasing their lists, there's nothing left to do,'" said Terence McKiernan, co-founder of BishopAccountability.org, who has been tracking the abuse crisis and cataloging accused priests for almost two decades, accumulating a database of thousands of priests. "There are a lot of holes in these lists. There’s still a lot to do to get to actual, true transparency."

(Read more Catholic Church sex scandals stories.)

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