The committee said it “has not independently investigated the allegations of sexual abuse against the people listed” and “does not assert that the allegations of sexual abuse against them are true.” Those named on the committee’s list either faced lawsuits accusing them of abuse or another diocese or religious order had found allegations against them to be credible.
Those names include Bishop John McGann, who served as the second bishop of the Rockville Centre diocese from 1976 to 2000. Two women and a man have filed a lawsuit against the late bishop in October 2019. They allege that McGann, other priests, and a church groundskeeper abused them when they were children.
The creditors’ list, posted at LongIslandChurchCommittee.com, includes some priests who have not served in decades, including a priest ordained in 1916 who died in 1980, but was named as credibly accused by the Diocese of Brooklyn. The list also includes religious orders’ clergy, who tend to be under the jurisdiction of their religious order, not the diocese.
Jeff Anderson & Associates, a law firm specializing in Catholic clergy abuse lawsuits, in April released a database of 144 clergy accused of abuse in lawsuits the law firm says involves the Rockville Centre diocese.
Trusha Goffe, an attorney with Jeff Anderson and Associates, said the Rockville Centre diocese had been the only New York diocese that had not released a list of accused clergy.
“It was a decision made by this bankruptcy judge, that part of reaching survivors included the diocese being compelled to put out a list of names like this,” Goffe told the Bronx news station News 12.
On April 22 the law firm listed four “notable” alleged abusers not included on the diocese’s list but named on the creditors’ committee list, who have at least one lawsuit filed against them. These alleged abusers include Bishop McCann, accused in one lawsuit; Harold Cox, accused in 11 lawsuits; Romano J. Ferraro, accused in 21 lawsuits; and Alan Placa, accused in two lawsuits both involving the Rockville Centre diocese.
Dolan told CNA the diocese is not commenting on particular cases but is addressing them in “appropriate legal forums.”
Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. He was a recipient of a 2014 Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship.