ROCHESTER, New York (ChurchMilitant.com) - Eight priests in the diocese of Rochester, New York are being accused of sexually abusing children.
On Wednesday, attorney Mitchell Garabedian named the eight priests in a speech in front of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, New York. He spoke on behalf of 15 men and women who claim they were abused as minors by Catholic priests in the diocese of Rochester.
Of the eight priests being accused, three were previously known as alleged abusers: Fr. Eugene Emo, Fr. David Simon and Fr. Francis Vogt.
Fathers Emo and Simon were removed from priestly ministry, and Fr. Vogt is deceased.
But the other five priests on the rosters were not previously known to the public as being accused of sexual abuse. They are Fr. Thomas Valenti, Fr. Gary Shaw, Fr. Richard Orlando, Fr. G. Stuart Hogan and Fr. Charles McCarthy.
Fathers G. Stuart Hogan, Charles McCarthy and Richard Orlando are all deceased. Father Valenti is still active in priestly ministry and formerly served as vocations director of the diocese of Rochester. Gary Shaw, meanwhile, resigned in 1977 and was laicized in 1978.
Garabedian claimed on Wednesday that "these priests were transferred from parish to parish, which is typical of a diocese, or archdiocese or the Catholic Church."
He called on Rochester's Bp. Salvatore Matano to release the diocese's "secret files," as they are called, on sexual abuse accusations involving priests.
The attorney also said, "The question always remains: how far up the chain did sexual abuse go, and how many supervisors allowed this sexual abuse to go on time and time again?"
The 15 alleged victims say the incidents of priest sex abuse spans some 28 years, from the 1950s to the 1970s.
While sex abuse by priests is often what catches headlines, priests are actually two to four times less likely to commit sexual assault than the general male population.
It is more shocking, though, to many people, when Catholic priests are accused of sex crimes. It is also found worrisome that some Catholic dioceses have a reputation of covering up abusive priests and smuggling them from parish to parish.