- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup has released a list of clergy members it considers to have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children in cases that stretch back decades in New Mexico and Arizona.

The list made public Monday includes 30 priests and one lay teacher assigned to parishes from the 1950s to last year.

In a statement, Bishop James Wall said he released the names of accused clergy online to be transparent and protect children. “The survivors who have come forward should be commended for their bravery and courage,” Wall said.

He said he sent letters to each parish, mission and school within the diocese territory - which stretches from northwest New Mexico to northeast Arizona and encompasses a large portion of the Navajo Nation - where church officials have determined there was a legitimate accusation of sex abuse against a minor.

Previously, the diocese released the names of 11 priests linked to such cases. The new list adds 20 other names, but does not include other details.

The Associated Press has not published the names because the allegations have not been independently verified, and it’s not clear whether any of those accused have been charged.

In his statement, Wall said victims should contact police if they recognized their abusers on the list. He also said the diocese’s investigation into molestation claims wasn’t finished.

Diocese spokeswoman Suzanne Hammons said no one on the list is working in the Gallup territory. “If they were transferred somewhere else, it’s because no one knew of the allegations, and we are looking into that,” Hammons said.

She said it will be up to religious orders to conduct their own investigations. Seven of the priests on the list have died, according to the diocese.

After the release, the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Wall needed to go further.

“Wall must reveal their photos, current whereabouts and detailed work histories, too,” SNAP director David Clohessy said in a statement. “He should put all this information in every parish bulletin, along with an emphatic plea for anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in New Mexico to call police.”

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2013 in the face of mounting lawsuits, claiming clergy sex abuse.

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Follow Russell Contreras at https://twitter.com/russcontreras


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