People in Hawaii and across the country are living with the aftereffects of sexual abuse that they suffered at the hands of priests. For many years, survivors have fought to gain recognition for their trauma and some measure of justice from the Catholic Church. In many cases, priests known to abuse children were simply transferred away from a particular area. Many survivors have called on church officials to release lists of names of clergy known as sexual abusers. In Rhode Island, the Diocese of Providence released a list of deacons, priests and clerics that it said had been the target of credible allegations of child sexual abuse.
The diocese posted a list of 50 names on its website, and it includes 19 priests and deacons who are still alive. Almost all of them have since been removed from the ministry, while one priest resigned his job. Twenty-five dead priests and six religious order clerics and others are also on the list. The document also includes a record of the places where each man worked based on files dating back to 1950. The bishop in the area called the release of the names a "difficult but necessary" step.
The release of the names is a long-time demand of many sexual abuse victims. One support group said that the information could encourage more victims to report their experiences. It also called for an independent criminal investigation by the state attorney general's office.
Many victims of clergy sexual abuse as children continue to suffer with the effects years later. Survivors who are looking for justice can contact an attorney to learn more about their options to pursue accountability.