Las Cruces Diocese releases list of accused priests, religious

    Las Cruces Diocese releases list of accused priests, religious (Source: MGN Online)<p>{/p}

    The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces has released the names of 28 priests who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

    The diocese also released the dates of the alleged incidents, the dates they were reported and the status of the accused priests and religious.

    "Obviously, this is an extremely painful situation to look at, but something the church has to face," said Bishop Gerald Kicanas, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Las Cruces.

    Officials say the alleged abuse cases took place from the 1950s to 2000 from priests who served in the Las Cruces Diocese..

    Some of the people listed have died and the others have been removed from ministry or retired.

    During the news conference, most rev. Gerald F. Kicanas stated the diocese will be handing over the names to the New Mexico attorney general's office after two months when the department asked all Roman Catholic church officials for files.

    The New Mexico attorney general's office said in September it wanted Roman Catholic church officials around the state to allow it to review personnel records for any material that might be related to past or present allegations of sexual abuse.

    The Santa Fe Archdiocese last year published a list of 74 clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children in New Mexico.

    That is our hope in publishing these names, is that we can be as transparent as possible," said Kicanas.

    Below is the list the diocese released:

    All the cases in the list occurred from the 1950s to 2000.

    The diocese in 2002 implemented a safe environment training and background checks for all clergy, employees and volunteers. The diocese said there have been no abuse cases reported that have occurred after 2002.

    "Currently, all of our volunteers and those who work for the diocese have to go through background checks, they have to go through safe environment training, our children are exposed to safe environment training," said Kicanas.

    The Las Cruces Diocese apostolic administrator, Gerald Kicanas released the following statement.

    By publishing this list, the Diocese of Las Cruces is seeking to be transparent and accountable, and we invite anyone who may have been abused by church personnel to come forward and report that abuse to the proper authorities.

    The Las Cruces Catholic Diocese provided the list to the New Mexico Attorney General.

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