A recent bankruptcy court filing by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre sheds new light on the scope of sexual abuse by clergy who served on the North Fork, but critics say they believe an attached list of abusers omits the names of dozens more perpetrators.
The April 15 filing documents allegations against some former local priests who hadn’t previously been publicly accused of abuse and offers new details about locations where incidents occurred here and elsewhere on the East End.
But attorneys representing victims of clergy sex abuse say the report excludes allegations leveled at prominent figures in the Catholic church on Long Island, including the late Bishop John McGann and Msgr. Alan Placa.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, Mass., whose work with clergy sexual abuse victims aided the 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of the Boston Globe and was depicted in the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight,” has filed three civil complaints on behalf of alleged victims of Bishop McGann, who led the Diocese from 1976 to 2000.
“Clergy sexual abuse victims wonder what secret criteria the Diocese of Rockville Centre has used as an excuse to not list priests such as Bishop McGann,” Mr. Garabedian said in an email. “History has taught us that a Diocese may not list a sexually abusive priest because that priest has only been credibly accused once. To take such deceptive action only endangers children and prevents victims from healing.”
Sean Dolan, a spokesperson for the Diocese, did not respond to a request for comment this week. Addressing similar comments from Mr. Garabedian in a report in Newsday this week, Mr. Dolan said the list was not determined by the church but rather by the bankruptcy court.
“It is a matter of public record that the court determined the objective criteria for the list and the Diocese was simply following the court order,” he told Newsday.