by Joshua Gill
The bishop of the Steubenville diocese declared that his diocese will release a list of predatory priests, becoming the second Ohio diocese to do so.
Dino Orsatti, spokesman for the diocese, made the announcement Tuesday that Bishop Jeffrey Monforton called for the list of alleged sexually predatory priests to be released as a show of greater transparency in the wake of revelations like Pennsylvania’s grand jury report on sexual abuse in six of the state’s dioceses. The list will name between 12 and 20 priests who, according to church documentation dating back as far as 1944, were alleged to have committed sexual abuses against parishioners.
“He would welcome any investigation like the one in Pennsylvania,” Orsatti said of Monforton, according to The Associated Press.
The Steubenville announcement followed a similar one from the diocese of Youngstown, which announced earlier in September that the church there would also release a list of accused predatory priests, echoing Pennsylvania bishops who chose to release lists of such priests from their respective dioceses during legal battles over the release of the grand jury report. Monsignor John Zuraw said the diocese of Youngstown hopes that the release of their list will not only foster transparency, but will also encourage victims, or trigger their memories, and enable them to come forward with allegations.
“This is what the church needs to do at this time,” Zuraw said. “To help people who were victimized and let them put their lives back together.”
Two other dioceses in Ohio have already made it a practice to release updated lists of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse and removed from ministry. The diocese of Toledo lists the names of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse since 1950 on its website, omitting only those who have died as they cannot defend themselves.
The Cincinnati Archdiocese releases a similar list of clergy who have been expelled from ministry since 2014 over cases of sexual abuse.
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Joshua Gill is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Joshua on Twitter.