ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Following years of criticism, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has released the names of 74 priests and religious leaders who were accused or later found guilty of sexually abusing children by state or church authorities,
Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester announced the release of the names Tuesday in a letter to parishioners after decades of pressure from victims and their family members who wanted a complete list.
Some of the names of accused priests on the list had been known for years while others had been secret.
Also listed were priests and religious leaders who were publicly accused but whose criminal or canonical proceedings weren’t completed. In most cases, those accused priests died before the allegations were received, Wester said.
The Catholic Church keeps much of its Canon law proceedings secret.
Wester told parishioners the archdiocese needed to publicly acknowledge and identify clergy and religious leaders accused of perpetrating child sexual abuse within the one of the nation’s oldest archdiocese.
“We must practice openness and transparency whenever possible, as this is essential for rebuilding trust and healing wounds,” Wester wrote. “While many of the accused names have already been made public or have been identified elsewhere, this is the first time the archdiocese has published such a list.”
Wester called the abuse cases “deep source of sadness and shame for our church.”
The list does not provide details of the crimes or the convictions.
Brad Hall, an Albuquerque attorney who has represented dozens of alleged victims, said the release…