Portland, Ore., Nov 13, 2018 / 16:24 pm
More names of clergy and religious accused of sex abuse are set to come out this December from a western U.S. province of the Society of Jesus, which says the decision to name the credibly accused is an effort for transparency that supports victims.
The province includes the territory of the former Oregon Province, which declared bankruptcy due to abuse lawsuits in 2009.
“While the vast majority of these offenses occurred in the past, the People of God rightly demand and deserve transparency on the part of Church leadership,’ Father Scott Santarosa, S.J., provincial of the U.S.A. West Province of the Society of Jesus, said Nov. 9. “Such transparency is important to support victims in their healing and to rebuild trust in the Church.”
He said the province will release the names of Jesuits credibly accused of sex abuse since 1950. The list is presently being compiled and is planned for a Dec. 7 release. The province will also engage an external review to ensure the completeness of the list and to ensure that previous allegations were handled properly.
“If the review identifies additional names of Jesuits with credible allegations of abuse, we will release those names as well,” he said.
The Portland, Ore.-based province presently has 484 Jesuits, a spokesperson for the West Province told CNA. Its priests and brothers serve throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Its territory includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The province was created in a 2017 merger of the California and Oregon provinces.
“On behalf of the Society of Jesus, I apologize to victims and their families,” Santarosa continued. “There is no greater betrayal of pastoral care than the abuse of a minor by someone with a sacred duty to protect and care for the People of God.”