“His purported reasoning for choosing to keep the identities of the credibly accused abusers secret is deceptive, duplicative and dishonest.” – Attorney Mike Reck
(Ogdensburg, NY) – Diocese of Ogdensburg Bishop Terry LaValley’s statements to North Country Public Radio are archaic and abominable and showcase a culture of cover-up and lack of understanding. His purported reasoning for choosing to keep the identities of the credibly accused abusers secret is deceptive, duplicative, and dishonest. Of course, the identities of the survivors of these crimes against children are to be protected. That is not and has never been the issue. That safety protocol to protect the survivors is routinely practiced by all Dioceses including the ones that disclose the alleged perpetrator identities.
According to Bishop LaValley, fifteen years ago when he was chancellor of the diocese, he attended a meeting with local prosecutors where the diocese provided the names of 35 clergy who were accused of misconduct. To date, most of those names remain secret. The disclosure of credibly accused clerics is vital for the sake of survivor healing and public safety.
Bishop LaValley’s purported solution to the crisis (notifying only other bishops of the identity and whereabouts of known abusers) takes the situation from bad to worse. It merits noting that he actually just proposed that a good course of action is to tell another priest, but hide the information from families who could be exposed to the alleged abusers. Point blank, this callous and calculated response creates a public safety nightmare.
The answer to Bishop LaValley’s question, “What do you do?” is simple: retract your comments and release the identities and whereabouts of the credibly accused clerics.