August 25, 2011 / 8:00 PM / 8 years ago

Archdiocese of Boston publishes list of accused priests

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston published for the first time on Thursday a comprehensive list of 159 names of its clergy accused of sexually abusing children.

The names of clergy were released on the diocese website and compiled into lists including priests who have been found guilty of abuse, those with pending allegations, those accused and then defrocked and others now deceased.

“Having met with hundreds of survivors, I know firsthand the scars you carry. And I carry with me every day the pain of the church’s failures,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley said in a statement.

The priest sex abuse scandal, which has rocked the Roman Catholic church worldwide, first erupted in Boston nearly a decade ago.

The newly published names also include priests acquitted of charges and clergy publicly accused of abuse in complaints later found to be unsubstantiated. In many cases, those priests have returned to active ministry, the church said.

Boston Archdiocese spokesperson Ann Carter said there were 2,324 priests on active duty from 1950-2003, the time period during which the allegations surfaced.

To date, a total of 250 clerics, including two deacons and 157 priests whose names were published on Thursday, have been accused of sexually abusing a minor, according to the website.

The remaining 91 unpublished names include clergy not publicly identified who were either defrocked before being accused or whose allegations were not substantiated or who are now deceased, the website said.

The church said it would continue to supplement and update the list as new information becomes available.

Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Cynthia Johnston

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