Mississippi Catholic diocese identifies clergy members accused of sexual abuse

A Catholic diocese in Mississippi is releasing names of clergy members it says have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Posted: Mar 19, 2019 11:13 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Catholic diocese in Mississippi is releasing names of clergy members it says have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Bishop Joseph Kopacz said the Diocese of Jackson is publishing the list Tuesday on its website. It's part of the international reckoning of clergy abuse allegations that have shaken the Catholic church.

MORE: See the list here 

The Jackson bishop said in a letter released Monday that he is "truly, deeply sorry" for pain that be caused by the list.

"The crime of abuse of any kind is a sin, but the abuse of children and vulnerable adults is especially egregious," Kopacz wrote. "First and foremost, it is a sin against the innocent victims, but also a sin against the Church and our communities. It is a sin that cries out for justice."

The bishop said he encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a clergy member or church employee to come forward. He wrote that the diocese has a legal duty to report the cases to law enforcement, and "helping victims find healing and wholeness is our moral imperative."

He also said the church is taking steps to prevent abuse, including screening and educating employees and volunteers.

The Diocese of Jackson encompasses 65 of Mississippi's 82 counties and has about 48,000 registered Catholics.

In January, the only other Catholic diocese in Mississippi, the Diocese of Biloxi, released the names of three clergy members it said had been credibly accused of sexual misconduct against minors since the diocese was founded in 1977. It said all three were prohibited from the ministry and allegations were reported to authorities. One was accused in 2015 of misconduct with an adolescent boy in Laurel, and the Biloxi Diocese said he is serving a 10-year prison sentence. Another was accused of misconduct with an adolescent girl in Biloxi during the mid-1980s; the third, with adolescent girls in Biloxi in 1989.

A grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania last year identified nearly 300 "predator priests" going back nearly 70 years, and it accused Roman Catholic church leaders of covering up the abuse. The Associated Press reported that in the final four months of 2018, Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States released names of more than 1,000 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children.

More information has been released since then. In January, 14 Catholic dioceses in Texas identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 14372

Reported Deaths: 693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds95924
Lauderdale71358
Madison69422
Scott63010
Neshoba58937
Jones56622
Forrest52338
DeSoto5036
Leake40012
Rankin3856
Holmes38524
Jackson30313
Copiah2904
Attala28415
Newton2564
Monroe25225
Leflore25130
Lincoln25024
Harrison2477
Lamar2315
Yazoo2274
Pearl River20631
Pike20311
Adams19015
Lowndes1899
Noxubee1736
Washington1667
Warren1597
Bolivar15411
Wayne1540
Oktibbeha15411
Jasper1524
Smith14511
Covington1431
Clarke13818
Kemper13611
Chickasaw13012
Lafayette1274
Lee1245
Carroll11511
Coahoma1144
Marion1149
Clay1084
Winston1051
Lawrence1021
Simpson950
Hancock8711
Wilkinson859
Yalobusha855
Grenada853
Itawamba847
Montgomery811
Union805
Sunflower783
Jefferson Davis772
Marshall773
Tate741
Tippah7111
Claiborne692
Panola643
Calhoun634
Webster611
Humphreys587
Amite561
Tunica533
Walthall520
Perry503
Prentiss423
Jefferson400
Choctaw342
Stone300
Pontotoc293
Tishomingo280
Franklin282
Tallahatchie261
Quitman250
George211
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene91
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16530

Reported Deaths: 591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2124112
Jefferson1712100
Montgomery154134
Tuscaloosa67813
Marshall6689
Lee53332
Franklin5147
Shelby48419
Tallapoosa41864
Butler39213
Chambers34924
Madison3184
Elmore3137
Walker2991
Baldwin2819
Etowah24411
Dallas2443
DeKalb2413
Morgan2311
Coffee2241
Lowndes22210
Sumter2136
Autauga2053
Houston1884
Bullock1833
Pike1790
Colbert1612
Russell1590
Marengo1556
Lauderdale1532
Calhoun1523
Hale1517
Choctaw1488
Wilcox1347
Barbour1321
Clarke1292
Randolph1257
Marion11911
St. Clair1161
Pickens1014
Talladega1003
Dale990
Chilton971
Cullman960
Greene924
Limestone870
Winston820
Covington771
Jackson752
Crenshaw722
Bibb711
Henry712
Macon712
Washington666
Blount581
Escambia493
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Conecuh351
Coosa351
Monroe352
Perry350
Cherokee342
Clay272
Lamar210
Fayette130
Cleburne131
Unassigned00
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