Some abuse victims have not wanted the names of their abusers released. While the diocese previously yielded to their wishes, Bishop Cunningham said, "upon serious reflection and prayer, I have concluded this practice has become a roadblock to moving our local Church forward."
The 75-year-old bishop, who has submitted his resignation upon reaching retirement age under Church law, added that it was not fair to leave such a decision about abuse disclosure to his successor.
"The news over the past few months of the tragic failings of the Catholic Church has been deeply distressing and has caused many to lose faith and trust," he said. "It continues to weigh heavily on our hearts. Personally for me, as your bishop, I have prayerfully considered what I can do to help rebuild trust and forge a path to restoring and strengthening the faith."
A credible accusation, the diocese explained in documents accompanying the bishop's letter, meets one of several criteria: the allegation is "natural, reasonable, plausible and probable"; the allegation is corroborated with other evidence or another source; or the allegation is acknowledged or admitted by the accused.
Some additional allegations have been reported to the appropriate district attorneys and will be added to the list if found credible, the diocese said.
A compensation program run by the diocese determined that there are 85 known abuse victims, as of September. A diocesan compliance officer works with accused priests and regularly monitors them.