Church Should Release Details

All 15 Roman Catholic dioceses in Texas will reveal the names of clergy members credibly accused of sexual offenses, it was announced Wednesday.

Many other dioceses, including those in Steubenville, Columbus, Cleveland and Youngstown, have made similar decisions.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston should follow suit.

Following the retirement of Bishop Michael Bransfield a few weeks ago, the West Virginia diocese announced an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults by him had been launched. Presumably, the church also is looking into allegations of even more serious offenses by other clergy.

Church officials should think carefully about following the example set in other dioceses, of releasing to the public information about other allegations against Catholic clergy in West Virginia.

For too long, some in the church actively covered for predator priests. As a result, the entire church has been placed under a cloud.

Transparency, including release of names of clergy dead and alive against whom truly credible allegations of sexual abuse have been made would be a step toward removing that cloud of suspicion.

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