Norwich diocese

The Diocese of Norwich released a list of priests accused of sexual abuse (WFSB)

NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -- On Sunday, the Diocese of Norwich released its list of 43 priests who are credibly accused of sexual abuse dating back decades.

More than half of those credibly accused were removed or reassigned from the Diocese of Norwich clergy. Thirty-four clergy members on the list have passed away.

With the Diocese posting the names on Sunday, it opened up old wounds for victims and new wounds for others.

“They knew it happened but what they did was get rid of the problem,” said Andrew Aspinwall.

He is one of the alleged victims of sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Norwich.

He said while his assault was more than 40 years ago, the wound will never heal and the list doesn’t reveal the whole story.

“It doesn’t say how many they’ve abused. How many they raped. We’re not talking sexual abuse. We’re talking sexual rape here,” Aspinwall said.

The list includes 43 known clergy members who have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor over the past 65 years, since the Diocese began in 1953.

The Reardon Law Firm in New London settled nine of the abuse cases with the Diocese, for $8.1 million.

“It’s at least a moment where they’re beginning to feel like there is some transparency and a step in the right direction in terms of getting the information out to the public and making sure this type of thing doesn’t ever happen again,” said Attorney Kelly Reardon.

The Norwich Diocese, meanwhile, says $4.8 million of the settlement was paid by insurance, $1 million from the general fund, and $1.7 million in payments made to others, dioceses and orders.

In a letter Sunday to parishioners, Bishop Michael Cote said “it is my hope and prayer that this effort to let the light shine on this dark chapter in the life of the church will bring some measure of peace, healing, and acknowledgement to those who have been directly harmed and to all members of our faith community.”

“We can do better. We have to do better, and they have to stand up and take responsibility for what they did,” Aspinwall said.

Many of the accused priests have died while others were removed from the ministry.

Meanwhile there are 22 new cases that could go to trial.

To see the full list, click here.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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