Read Bishop Cunningham's Dec. 1 Letter to the People here.
Since 2002, the Diocese of Syracuse has fully implemented the articles of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People including:
A Comprehensive Child and Youth Protection Policy which applies to all clergy, religious, employees and those volunteers whose ministry puts them in contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
A Safe Environment Program that requires training, education and criminal background checks of clergy, religious, employees and volunteers whose ministry places them in contact with children, which must be renewed every five years. The program also requires prevention and educational programs for children in the Catholic Schools and Faith Formation classes. Over 42,000 adults and over 15,000 children have been credentialed as of 11/2018.
An Office of Victim Assistance to provide support and services to individuals who may have been sexually abused by a member of the clergy or other members of the diocese.
A Memorandum of Understanding with the District Attorneys of the seven counties of the diocese which states that all allegations will be reported to the appropriate District Attorney before the diocese begins its canonical process.
The Diocesan Review Board made up of well qualified lay professionals, a priest and member of the religious to oversee investigations into allegations of clergy sexual abuse of a minor once the District Attorney has completed its review.
Tragically, the Diocese of Syracuse has members of its clergy who have harmed children and young people. By following the protocols of the Charter, significant steps have been taken to reach out to victims, involve the laity, partner with law enforcement and maintain a culture in which children and young people are safe and protected. There is no member of the clergy in active ministry with a credible allegation of abuse and the allegations of abuse that are reported are decades old.
In February 2018, the diocese initiated the Independent Reconciliation Compensation Program (IRCP) designed to offer reparation, promote reconciliation and further healing to individuals who, in the past, were sexually abused by members of diocesan clergy. The program is nearing its conclusion and a full report will be provided to the people of the diocese.
In continuing the commitment to fully embrace the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the diocese is providing a list of clergy who have a credible allegation of abuse since 1950. All of these individuals have either been removed from ministry or are deceased. Credible is defined as: an allegation that, based upon the facts of the case, meets one or more of the following thresholds:
- Natural, reasonable, plausible and probable,
- Corroborated with other evidence or another source, or
- Acknowledged/admitted to by the accused.
In making this determination, consideration is given to the trustworthiness of the source.
Removed from Ministry is a canonical penalty in which the cleric can no longer function as a priest, present himself as a priest or wear clerics. Other canonical definitions used in the list can be found here.
This list below is a result of thorough reviews by the Diocesan Review Board.