The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego on Thursday added eight priests to the list of those believed to have molested children as part of clerical abuse scandal rocking the church, the New York Daily News reports.
The new names were released in piecemeal fashion, with critical details missing. They are Revs. George Lally, Jose Chavarin, J. Patrick Foley, Michael French, Paolino Montagna, Raymond Etienne, and Richard Houck, as well as Monsignor Mark Medaer.
The new names extend the list of predator priests established by a landmark case that was concluded in 2007. That year, the diocese settled 144 claims of child sexual abuse by 48 priests and one lay employee. It resulted to payments totaling $198.1 million, the second-largest settlement by a Catholic diocese in the US.
The announcement was prompted by the Pennsylvania grand jury report, the McCarrick case and other recent revelations of sexual abuse involving Catholic priests that have put into question the church’s moral authority and its willingness to honestly tackle the issue. The crisis has prompted the Vatican to announce that Pope Francis will convene the world’s bishops for a meeting on the protection of minors set in February 2019.
Advocates for victims welcome the move to reveal the identities of accused predators. “It makes them more accountable,” said Dr. Marianne Benkert, a La Jolla-based psychiatrist who studied clerical sexual abuse.
“Some dioceses are trying to do proactive disclosures, which is great — disclosures are super important,” according to Tim Lennon, president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
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