Attorneys representing victims who have made sex abuse accusations against clergy in the Catholic Church have named dozens of clerics in the case, and demand identification of more.
The New York law firm named more than 100 priests and others connected with the Archdiocese of New York who have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors. The attorneys said they hope Cardinal Timothy Dolan will name all alleged perpetrators known by the church.
The firm said in a news conference it plans to file a lawsuit under the Child Victims Act on behalf of accuser Monica Perez-Jimenez. The woman says she was abused by a Loyola High School basketball coach, who attorneys say church leaders moved to a different New York City private school.
The firm said the Archdiocese of New York is one of two in the state that’s yet to release a complete list of accused abusers. He said his firm identified clergy along with deacons, brothers and nuns, through lawsuits, settlements and media reports.
Of the more than 100 identified Thursday, attorneys said 57 are believed to be alive, 42 are dead and the status of another 13 are unknown.
Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling told the New York Daily News all accused clerics have already been reported to the state attorney general and district attorneys in the 10 New York counties it covers.
“When a bishop, priest, or deacon is removed from an assignment following an accusation of abuse, the parish community is notified, and a story is published in Catholic New York, the archdiocesan newspaper,” Zwilling said.
“If the allegation is found to be substantiated by our review board, parishioners of the priest or deacon’s former assignments are also notified, always with a request that people contact their district attorney to report any criminal behavior,” he added.
The firm’s identification of the accused clerics came one day after Pope Francis appeared at a conference in Rome and gave Catholic leaders “concrete measures” to avert and stop incidents of sex abuse, which have long affected the church.
“May the Virgin Mary enlighten us to try and heal the great wounds that the scandal of pedophilia has caused in both children and the believers,” the pontiff said.