Boston-based watchdog group BishopAccountability.org visited the headquarters of the Diocese of Cleveland Friday. Joined by local Catholic organizations, activists demanded that Bishop Richard Lennon release the names of over sixty clergy accused of sexual abuse in Northeast Ohio.
According to the Diocese, 118 clerics have been accused of abuse, but the church has released only 45 names.
“I believe Bishop Lennon is hiding one of the biggest lists of unregistered sexual offenders in the state,” says Anne Barrett Doyle, co-founder of Bishop Accountability. “Cleveland has the biggest gap between the number of priests accused and the number of priests that are public. Naming them publicly is the most effective way to keep children safe.”
Lennon has been on the group’s radar since its inception. He served as interim head of the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002, when its bishop resigned over revelations about sex abuse at the hands of priests.
Doyle co-founded the organization in 2003, when sexual abuse by clergy became a visible national cause. Its website gathers data from hundreds of parishes across the country, including local churches. A database collects the names of church affiliates accused of abuse, with details about the cases and links to further information. An archive contains thousands of investigative reports, articles, essays, and commentary.