SEATTLE (AP) — The Archdiocese of Seattle has published a list of 77 child-sex abusers who served or lived in Western Washington over the past several decades.
Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain apologized for the actions by the nearly all-male list of priests, brothers and deacons, and at least one sister, who abused minors. He said in a letter released Friday that he is disclosing the names "in the interest of further transparency and accountability" and to continue to encourage victims of sexual abuse by clergy to come forward.
"Our work in this area will not be complete until all those who have been harmed have received assistance in healing, and until the evil of child sexual abuse has been eradicated from society," Sartain said.
The list includes cases where allegations of child sex abuse have been admitted, established or determined to be credible. The list took nearly two years to develop with the help of independent consultants and a review board of professionals who advise the archbishop on child sex abuse.
The 77 named in the list lived or served in Western Washington between 1923 and 2008.
Sartain said the archdiocese has made efforts to respond to victims since the mid-1980s and thanked abuse survivors who have come forward.
Seattle attorney Michael T. Pfau and his law partner, Jason P. Amala, have settled more than 150 claims against the Seattle Archdiocese and others that operated its schools and parishes in and around Seattle. Many of the claims involved people on the list.
Pfau said the list will help abuse survivors address their abuse.
"Many of our clients believe they were the only one, or they think they will not be believed if they come forward," he said in a news release. "This list will help people realize they are not alone, which is often the first step toward healing and closure."
Pfau also called on the Archdiocese, for "true transparency," to release the files and secret archives kept on the people named, saying other Archdioceses have done so.
"Releasing the files allows abuse survivors to begin to understand how it happened, which can be another important step toward finding closure," he said. "It also helps the general public to understand the magnitude of the problem, and to ensure this never happens again."