Removed Priests Will Be Identified in Catholic New York
June 11, 2003

NEW YORK -- Priests removed from active ministry after the Archdiocese of New York's internal investigation of sexual molestation charges will be identified in the archdiocesan newspaper, a spokesman for Cardinal Edward Egan said Wednesday.

But priests cleared by the investigation for a return to work will not be identified unless they choose to make the matter public themselves, spokesman Joseph Zwilling said.

"It is the cardinal's intention not to make a public statement concerning a priest who is returning to active ministry," Zwilling said.

Egan believes that identifying the priests publicly could further damage their reputations, Zwilling said.

Any priest taken out of service will be identified in Catholic New York, just as Egan promised in the August 2002 edition of the newspaper, Zwilling said.

A lay review board appointed by Egan has been investigating 13 priests suspended since April 2002 because of accusations of sexual abuse. Egan has said he will decide whether to reinstate the priests or bar them from the ministry after hearing the board's recommendations.

"The archdiocesan review board has been working diligently, considering with care all of the cases involving priests who have been accused of abuse," Zwilling said.

Egan has already begun meeting with priests whose cases were completed by the board, Zwilling said.

Information about the allegations was also turned over to prosecutors, who decided not to charge 12 of the priests, citing lack of evidence or the statute of limitations. Prosecutors are still reviewing one case.


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