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Church names 63 New Jersey clergy accused of sexual abuse

NEWARK, N. J. – The Archdiocese of Newark released a list Wednesday of 63 Roman Catholic priests have said credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, which dates back to 1940.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the archbishop said in a statement that he hoped that the publication will bring healing to those whose lives have been so deeply violated.”

New Jersey’s attorney general formed a task force in the autumn for running a criminal investigation into sexual abuse by priests in the state. It is one of the more than two dozen states where dioceses have released the names of abusive clergy since the Pennsylvania grand jury report in August found that more than 300 predator priests.

Newark is the list with Theodore McCarrick, a former Newark archbishop who served as the Washington, D. C., archbishop from 2000 to 2006. McCarrick was removed from public ministry in June.

New Jersey’s four other dioceses are expected to release the names this week of priests suspected of abusing minors.

All the clergy on the Newark list are described as deceased or who have been removed from the ministry, and about half have been mentioned in earlier news. About half are believed to be responsible for multiple victims.

Different accused of the killing of the boys as part of their volunteer work with Boy Scout troops, according to published reports. Others named in the release were arrested, convicted or pleaded guilty and were returned to service after probation or treatment, according to court records and published reports.

Carmen Sita changed his name to Gerald Howard after being sentenced to a period of probation and receive a treatment and started as a priest in the Jefferson City, Missouri diocese where he was assigned to a parish connected to a school. Later he was accused of abusing boys and was sentenced for a second time. The Missouri diocese reported Howard is currently locked.

Former priest Richard Mieliwocki, who was sentenced to probation, disappeared after the start of the guidance, and resurfaced when he was accused of the killing of the teenagers as a counselor in a patient’s substance abuse program.

Another priest, called Wednesday, Manuel Gallo Espinoza was indicted by a grand jury in 2016, after the authorisation to have at least one accusation of abuse. He fled to Ecuador, and a warrant issued for his arrest.

Accounts of priests called Wednesday come from previously published reports since the Newark list has no details about the accusations or when they are claimed to have happened.

The list is also not the religious order of priests, like the Jesuits, who may serve in a parish or schools, but are not ordained by the diocese. One of the victims compensation fund announced this week in New Jersey also won’t cover claims against religious order priests.

Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer who represented alleged victims in New Jersey, said that the release of names is not sufficient.

“Given the large number of priests named as sexual abusers and the period in which the sexual abuse has taken place, it is fair to mention that the Archdiocese and the Dioceses in New Jersey have forgotten how to be moral and friendly with children,” he said in a statement.

Almost 2,000 suspected clergy and others nationwide have been established since and including the Pennsylvania grand jury report, an investigation by The Associated Press found.

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Lauer reported from Philadelphia.

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