Four days after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl amid criticism of his handling of clerical sex abuse, Washington’s archbishop released a list of 31 members of the clergy who had been “credibly accused” of abusing minors dating back 70 years.
Wuerl included the list in a letter to clergy, calling the move “a necessary step toward full transparency and accountability and the process of healing.”
None are in active ministry. Eighteen of the clergy had been arrested, and 13 were never arrested. Of those not arrested, five were listed in a publicly searchable database of accused priests. Fourteen of the 31 men are still alive.
The letter names 28 clergy members of the archdiocese and three priests who were part of religious orders, or independent communities.
The letter states that “there has not been an incident of abuse of a minor by a priest of the archdiocese in almost two decades.” It does not say how recently accusers came forward, how many victims were abused by priests, nor whether all cases were taken to civil authorities.