The Northeast Province of the Jesuits became the final U.S. Jesuit province to publicly name suspected predator priests Tuesday, releasing a list of 50 priests.
Only 14 of the 50 named Jesuit priests named are still alive, though all served within the Northeast Province, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The list includes the names of every priest who has been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a child in the province since 1950. (RELATED: Chief McCarrick Accuser Meets With NYC Prosecutors)
Most of the priests included in the list were already known to the public as having allegedly committed sexual abuse, though several of them served in prominent universities, high schools, and even the publication America: The Jesuit Review. The province released the list along with a statement which clarified that the province considers allegations to be “credible” when an investigation uncovers sufficient corroborating evidence.
“Credibility can also be established by conviction in a court or by the admission of the truth of the allegation by the Jesuit,” the statement reads, according to Crux Now. “Many Jesuits on this list have not been found guilty of a crime or liable for any civil claim. Many accusations were made decades after the abuse allegedly took place, and often after the accused Jesuit had died.”
The province also clarified that the list does not include the names of Jesuits who are currently under investigation.
Rev. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit priest in the U.S., hailed the release of lists from dioceses and Jesuit provinces in response to Pennsylvania’s grand jury report on sexual abuse, despite claims from some that such releases are unfair to priests who are posthumously accused.
“Releasing the names is the right and moral thing to do for dioceses and religious orders-indeed, for the Church as a whole. And I am glad that the U.S. Jesuits have done this,” he said.
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