Diocese right to speak out

The Diocese of Steubenville did the right thing last week when it released the names of priests who had been “credibly accused” of at least one act of sexual abuse of a minor. Some of the names were of men who are now deceased — that is important to those who have held their secrets for many years and may now quietly be receiving some small comfort from that validation.

Parishioners should be grateful to the diocese for its emphasis on the need to protect victims of abuse — and prevent future abuse — rather than to protect those who have used their positions of influence to inflict such damage.

In fact, according to Dino Orsatti, director of communications for the diocese, “we want to encourage anyone who has experienced abuse to come forward and to find healing and comfort,” even if the name of the accused is not on the current list.

Church officials encourage any victim or victims harmed by a priest or anyone serving on behalf of the Catholic church in the Diocese of Steubenville or anyone who suspects child abuse to contact diocesan and secular authorities.

Father Dunfee, administrator for the diocese’s “Decree on Child Protection” may be reached at the chancery, 422 Washington St., Steubenville, at 740-282-3631, or jdunfee@diosteub.org.

Again, parishioners and members of the community at large should be grateful for this shift by the diocese.

Meanwhile, local law enforcement officials should make full use of the list — and churches should make all relevant records available to them.

Perhaps justice is finally beginning to be served.

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