The Diocese of London has confirmed that a list of priests credibly accused of abusing minors, released by a network of abuse victims, is “substantially correct.”
In a statement released Dec. 5, the southwestern Ontario diocese said that it can’t confirm in its entirety the 36 names released by SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) SW Ontario, though “we can confirm that it appears to be substantially correct.”
It did say that some of the priests involved and their cases were resolved by the priest’s religious order, and added “there are four other priests against whom allegations involving minors have been made. None of the priests continues to work within the diocese or elsewhere in the Church.”
SNAP released the names of 36 individuals who were criminally convicted and/or charged by more than one complainant and/or sued with a resolution for more than $50,000.
These offences took place between 1952 and 2005 in various communities in the London diocese, said the report posted Dec. 4 on the SNAP Network website. Twenty-seven of the 36 men named are deceased.
In its statement, the diocese expressed “our utmost regret” for those who suffered at the hands of clergy.
“We are sorry for the pain that clergy sexual abuse has caused and we are committed to vigilantly protecting those who are vulnerable, to supporting survivors and to swiftly addressing allegations,” the statement said.
Bishop Ronald Fabbro has met with many of the survivors and their families and has committed to supporting them in their journey. He has waived confidentiality requirements from all the settlements so that survivors who wish to share their story are able to.
“While these are incredibly difficult conversations, it is important that we continually look inward to keep our diocese a safe place for all members of our community,” the diocese said in its statement.
“We will readily cooperate with police and judicial authorities whenever an investigation is required. We are committed to reviewing, updating and promoting the diocese’s ‘Safe Environment Policy,’ with prevention and healing as our guiding principles.”