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National group pushes for names of SC priests accused of sexual - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

National group pushes for names of SC priests accused of sexual abuse

Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director for SNAP (SOURCE: WCSC) Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director for SNAP (SOURCE: WCSC)
Five lawsuits filed against Catholic Diocese of Charleston (SOURCE: WCSC) Five lawsuits filed against Catholic Diocese of Charleston (SOURCE: WCSC)
Statement from Catholic Diocese of Charleston Statement from Catholic Diocese of Charleston
WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) -

In the last two weeks, a list of priests, brothers, nuns and deacons accused of sexually assaulting children was published by the Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington.

Now there’s a push to do the same in the Lowcountry.

"Victims won't come forward if they feel they're not going to be believed or nothing will change," said Outreach Director for SNAP, Barbara Dorris.

Dorris is one of several thousand advocates who work for SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The group worked with the Seattle Diocese to publish the list of accused sex abusers inside their churches.

"About 30 bishops have now done that,” Dorris said. “We feel every bishop should do that. It's the bare minimum they can do."

Maria Aselage, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, said leaders do tell the congregation if a priest is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.

In a statement Tuesday it reads in part:

“When it receives an allegation against a priest of sexual misconduct with a minor, officials immediately investigate it and temporarily suspend the accused. If he is assigned to a parish, diocesan officials then tell the congregation about the allegation and officials report the allegation to civil authorities.”

At least five lawsuits filed in Charleston County claim that wasn't always the case.

Some of these include claims of abuse that date back to the 1960's and 70's.

All say the Diocese failed to keep children safe and “knew, or should have known” some of their priests were predators.

"We want for the victim's sake and the sake of the community, for these trials to move forward and the truth to come out," Dorris said.

The priests named in lawsuits currently pending in Charleston County have since died.

The Diocese states:

 “Officials with the Diocese of Charleston do not plan to release the names of accused priests who are dead. Doing so would do nothing to advance the Diocese’s mission of protecting children.”

SNAP said releasing their names could encourage more potential victims to come forward.

According to an independent website, Bishop Accountability, there are 12 publicly accused predator priests in South Carolina.

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