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.

Cases: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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