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Photo by cottonbro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-priest-listening-to-the-person-confessing-9588737/

By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Feb 08, 2023

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org.


Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, has rediscovered the principle that a man is innocent until proven guilty—even if he is a priest.

The Worcester diocese this week released a report on clerical abuse, updating an earlier report from 2004. The new report, breaking with the pattern set by other Catholic dioceses, did not provide the names of all priests who have been “credibly accused.”

“There is no other precedent for the publishing of lists of the accused in society,” Bishop McManus said, explaining why the diocese did not name names. He added that the publication of such lists—which has become a routine matter in many US dioceses—“can be a cause for deep division among many members of our Church who see this as publicly branding as guilty those who never have been charged by law enforcement or had a chance to defend themselves in a court of law…” …

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