Two U.S. chapters of the Roman Catholic Church’s Jesuit order of clergyman released a list of 153 names of its clerics on Friday who have faced believable allegations of sexual misconduct ranging almost half the country.
The exposures comes from Jesuits on the West Coast and in the central United States and recognise offenders dating back to the 1950s.
The Rev. Scott Santarosa, the head of the western Jesuit province made an apology to the victims in a written statement following the release.
Santarosa said “It is inconceivable that someone entrusted with the pastoral care of a child could be capable of something so harmful. Yet, tragically, this is a part of our Jesuit history, a legacy we cannot ignore,”
When some of the Jesuit wrongdoers were already known, the exposure is the recent revelation of clergy sex abuse that has irritated the Catholic Church since 2002, when the Boston Globe newspaper unvailed a decades-long cover-up by the Church hierarchy of sexual misconduct.
Since then, similar reports have sprouted in Europe, Australia and Chile, provoking lawsuits, sending dioceses into bankruptcy and cutting down the moral authority of the leadership of the Church, which has some 1.2 billion members around the world.
The Jesuits, officially known as the Society of Jesus, is the biggest order of male clergy in the Catholic Church, comprising of some 16,000 priests, brothers and scholastics, or priests in training. There are 2,150 Jesuits in the United States.
President of BishopAccountability.org, Terence McKiernan, which monitors Catholic clergy abuse, in a statement said that the revelations meant a “significant development,” but still falls short of full accountability.
He said “Detailed descriptions of the allegations should have been provided, especially for priests and brothers whose names are being made public for the first time, “It is crucial to know how long an accused priest worked in a school or parish, and in what years.”
The central U.S. province said it maintained a consulting firm included former FBI agents, and a “comprehensive” audit of its offenders will be released next year.
McKiernan said the U.S. Catholic Church has paid more than $3 billion settlement for clergy abuse cases.
One of the biggest payments by any Catholic order was the Jesuits, who paid out $166 million to victims, most of them Native Americans from remote Alaska Native villages or Indian reservations in the Pacific Northwest.