Saying it is time for "the church to stop these evil acts" a Boston attorney who has spent decades representing victims of sexual abuse called on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester to release records it may hold concerning allegations of sexual abuse of children by clergy.
Mitchell Garabedian on Wednesday stood on the steps of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester and named eight priests from the Rochester diocese who are accused of sexually abusing minor children. A group of 15 men and two women, now grown, say they were abused by these priests when they were children.
Garabedian said the incidents took place between 1950 and 1978 when the alleged perpetrators were assigned to churches in the Rochester diocese. He said the victims, all of whom approached him within the past six months, are now between the ages of 52 and 77.
"And as you can see from the assignment sheets from the official Catholic directory, these priests were transferred from parish to parish, which is typical of a diocese, or archdiocese or the Catholic Church," said Garabedian.
He called on Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester Bishop Salvatore Matano to release any records he has about allegations of sexual abuse against priests, including so-called "secret files," so the public can know who the accused priests are and what their supervisors did to respond to allegations.
"The question always remains how far up the chain did sexual abuse go, and how many supervisors allowed this sexual abuse to go on time and time again," he said.
Three of the accused priests had been publicly identified in the past. Allegations of misconduct by Eugene Emo, David P. Simon, and Francis H. Vogt were reported by the local press and the accusations were acknowledged by the Diocese. Emo and Simon were removed from their ministry and Vogt has since died.
But allegations against five of the priests accused Wednesday had not been previously reported. They include:
- Thomas J. Valenti
- Gary P. Shaw
- Richard J. Orlando
- G. Stuart Hogan
- Charles J. McCarthy
Valenti is currently serving as the parochial administrator at Blessed Trinity St Patrick's parish in Owego (Tioga County). He served as an associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament church and worked for many years as the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Rochester.
Garabedian said allegations of abuse against Valenti began when he was a deacon and continued after he became a priest at St. Mary's of the Lake parish in Ontario, Wayne County.
He also called for Valenti to resign. More from USA Today.