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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
Attorney • (800) 770-7008

The Catholic Church Should Demand the Disclosure of List of Credibly Accused Pedophiles

8 comments

There is a list of credibly accused abusers who were or are from the Diocese of Winona, which until now has remained hidden. In fact, there has been a fight to keep the list from the public. Most recently, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled on the civil case and held that the case was to be dismissed. Earlier, the lower court had suppressed the disclosure of the list. With the dismissal of the case, the list remains only with the Church.

Explain to me why the Church is holding on to this list? Because they are choosing the protection of pedophiles over the the truth. They are scared they will look bad. They are more concerned about their assets than protecting and helping those who were abused.

Name another institution anywhere that would be allowed to do that?

Watch this video about 10 minutes in and listen to a survivor and his battle in the case:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YURNurGleUE#!

Jim Keenan is a survivor who should be protected and deserves to have his voice heard.

The Church could prove they believe in zero tolerance by coming forward with this and every list that they have. Stop the protection and the hiding.

They needed to use the zero tolerance doctrine to shine light on what happened and to ensure that it would never happen again. They need to not move priests around and to quit putting them in situations which allow great access to kids. They needed to stop hiding.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.

8 Comments

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  1. D Pierre says:
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    Does Mike also want local school districts to release their lists of “credibly accused” teachers? What about the Boy Scouts? Youth Services? Little Leagues?

    If not, this is just another bigoted attack on the Catholic Church.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Sure, although in many of those cases there is mandatory reporting. I doubt there would ever be a school with a list of known pedophiles that wouldn’t be released. The Boys Scouts have fought these disclosures, and I have written about that issue.

    Zero tolerance has to mean something!

    This is very much a protection of the survivors issue. The Church leadership needs to stop hiding and do the right thing.

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    Mike, forgive me for being blunt, but I find the sentiments expressed to be extraordinary for a lawyer.

    You appear to equate “credibly accused” with “guilty”. In your reply to the first comment, you repeat this, equating the list of those “credibly accused” with a list of known paedophiles.

    I realise that there will be language issues peculiar to every jurisdiction, and if I have fallen foul of such, I will stand corrected, but there seems to be some very unlawyerly emotive conflation of concepts here.

  4. Mike Bryant says:
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    Guilt has nothing to do with it unfortunately because they aren’t being charged and are instead being hidden. They are judged instead by cannon laws. History tells us that they are often moved and often later around children.
    My guess is that you didn’t watch the video. I want Zero tolerance to mean something and this hiding to stop.

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    1. To those who believe in justice, so-called “zero tolerance” is an abomination, as well as being impractical. Mandatory reporting is problematic as well.

    2. No, I haven’t watched the video. Video is a “hot” medium i.e. works on the emotions rather than the intellect. The role of lawyers is the reverse. If there isn’t a compelling textual argument you can make, a video is not going to fill the gap.

    3. I am familiar with the general context of the Church and child abuse, which is similar in Ireland. If your argument was that the Church should hand over the list to the police, I wouldn’t be here.

    4. What you’re urging – please correct me if I am wrong – is that a list of people against whom accusations have been made should be published. Why ? So that they can be shunned and shamed, even though they have been found guilty of nothing. How is this consistent with civilised values, including the Rule of Law ? Think of the power that this gives to malicious false accusers !

    5. Oh, you may protest: these are not merely “accused”, they are “credibly accused”. But, despite my invitation you have not explained that adverb, and I fail to understand how or why it will make a substantial difference if you do.

    6. I will say that having a statute of limitations for criminal offences is something that is unknown in Britain and Ireland, and is the source of some of the problems which upset you. Perhaps you should campaign for repeal of that.

  6. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thanks again for the comment:

    They are the ones that claim Zero Tolerance and don’t practice it.

    If you don’t watch the video no way to address the whole post. It would be like if i just looked at every other line and said I disagree with your points.

    The whole piece is that the church should hand over the list. They created it.

    Because they have suspended priests for abuse. There is the list and they are hiding it.

    I didn’t accuse them. They suspended the priests, took action against them, made a list, and now are hiding it.

    I write about the statute of limitations issue often. Church always fights it.

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    I have now, out of my respect for you personally, watched the entire video. As expected, it affected me only emotionally (sadness and respect, to name but two).

    There is no need to repeat my substantial points, and I therefore will not.

    Please forgive me for the unwarranted implication that you have not already addressed the SoL point.

  8. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thanks again for the comments.