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Syracuse, Ogdensburg Catholic Dioceses asked to release names of priests accused of sexual abuse

An attorney representing some survivors of clergy sexual abuse is calling on both the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse and Ogdensburg to release names of all priests accused of abuse.

Attorney Mike Reck works for a Minnesota law firm that has represented victims of clergy sexual abuse across the country, including central New York and the North Country. After presenting a list of publicly known priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse in those dioceses, he called on bishops to release the names of all clergy who’ve been credibly accused in the past.

"We believe the disclosure of this information is vital for the sake of public safety, and for the sake of the survivors who need this in order to begin their healing process," Reck said. 

Reck contends the church knows about dozens of priests who have been accused, but not publicly named.

“There are many many survivors who we know who suffer in silence and shame and secrecy until the identity of their perpetrators are known," Reck said. "And then they have the ability to say 'Me Too, that happened to me.' That disclosure is a vital first step for them to heal.”

In a statement, the Syracuse Diocese says it confirms names of abusers if a victim comes forward with credible allegations. The Diocese, in explaining why it doesn’t release the names of all abusers says some victims, have asked Bishop Robert Cummingham directly to not release the names of their abusers.

Both the Ogdensburg and Syracuse Diocese have begun an Independent Reconciliation Compensation Program in an effort to compensate individual who have made credible claims of abuse in the past.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.