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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:00 am

Diocese disputes list isn't complete

Abuse survivor group says 10 names left off


The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in a statement Wednesday disputed that its list of clerics credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors is incomplete.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP, said Tuesday the diocese's list does not include the names of 10 men credibly accused elsewhere but who served in the diocese at some time.

All the names cited by SNAP have been made public through the men's religious orders, another diocese or in legal cases.

However, the diocese's statement said it “has never received accusations against the priests on the SNAP list released this week, nor has any of these named priests ... served in a diocesan parish or institution.”

The statement said the diocese's list does include names of some men found to have abused elsewhere, but those clerics did hold posts in a diocesan parish or institution.

The diocese “does not have the means to assess reasonably the credibility of an allegation ... when the allegation is not reported to this diocese or when it concerns incidents alleged to have occurred outside the diocese,” the statement says.

The list issued by the diocese in August has been updated with names of three additional clerics and appropriate names will continue to be added, the statement adds. It was issued by Mary Glowaski, assistant to the bishop in pastoral care, who assists victims.

David Clohessy, SNAP organizer, said Tuesday naming those credibly accused who served within a diocese, regardless of formal affiliation, alerts residents to conduct of which they might be unaware.

That may help a victim come forward to report abuse that occurred here, he said.  

SNAP on Wednesday updated its list by adding that an additional cleric, for a total of six, was deceased. SNAP also named the deceased as Harvey Lamothe, Joseph F. “Salvatore” Mika, John J. Gallen, Bernard “Barney” McMeel, Gerard “Angelo” Zankl and Francis Emil Dilla.

The diocese's statement says the diocese remains committed “to investigate any allegation of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy and to listen to and support anyone who has ever been abused.”