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Group launches nationwide database of credibly accused priests

For years, Catholic dioceses across the country have been publicly releasing the names of priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct. Yet at no point did the Catholic church ever provide a master list – a way for survivors or other members of the faith to easily view these serious accusations.

An independent outside group has changed that.

A nationwide, searchable database

ProPublica, an investigative news platform, created and published a first-of-its-kind database in January of 2020. With it, anyone can search and sort through every single list of credibly accused priests that has been released by a diocese.

In total, this amounts to lists from 178 dioceses and orders in the U.S., with more than 5,800 unique names of credibly accused priests. As of its creation, it is believed to be the only nationwide database of official publicly accused clergy disclosures.

Lists from Michigan

Here in Michigan we have seven Catholic dioceses. Five of them – the dioceses of Detroit, Lansing, Saginaw, Gaylord and Marquette – have released lists of credibly accused priests. Taken together, those lists include 155 names of clergy members, according to ProPublica’s database.

Two Michigan dioceses have not publicly released lists of credibly accused priests – those for Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, according to the database. The Chaldean Eparchy of Saint Thomas the Apostle also has not published such a list.

While these lists have been public for a while, seeing them grouped together for the first time can be a bit startling. Just in Michigan, the dioceses that have released lists cover more than 1.5 million Catholics.

You can view and search through the database here.

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