Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Releasing the names of deceased priests accused of sexual misconduct: Spokane Diocese policy changes

the Inland Register

(From the June 12, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

The Diocesan Review Board has recommended a change in policy, a recommendation which Bishop Skylstad has approved, regarding credible accusations of sexual abuse leveled against deceased diocesan priests.

In the past, credible accusations against deceased priests were not made public for a variety of reasons – that those accused were unable to defend themselves; that often great expanses of time had occurred between the alleged incidents and public accusation.

Bishop Skylstad’s commitment to aid in the healing of victims of abuse has led him to reconsider that policy. Under certain circumstances, those names of deceased, accused priests will be released to the public.

The policy is titled “Procedure for the release of names of deceased priests who have been accused of sexually abusing minors.”

“It is the goal of the Diocese of Spokane to treat victims with respect and respond to their needs for healing. In light of that goal, releasing the names of deceased priests accused of sexually abusing minors will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The release of a deceased priest’s name must first be requested by a victim of that priest. This request may be made to the Vicar General or the Assistance Coordinator. The request will then be submitted to the Diocesan Board of Review for consideration. The Board will make a recommendation to the Bishop after considering all the known details of the case. The final decision will be made by the Bishop.”

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