ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Archdiocese of Santa Fe released, for the first time, a list that contains 74 names of priests, deacons and brothers who once lived in New Mexico and are accused of sexually abusing children.
Along with the list was an apology letter from Archbishop John Wester. Read: Archbishop’s letter and the list of names.
In the letter, he spoke directly to survivors saying, “We as a church forever strive to support and assist you on your road to recovery.”
“The sheer number of names on that list is shocking,” Levi Monagle said. “I mean, there were names on there that we weren’t familiar with.”
Monagle is an attorney with the Law Offices of Brad Hall. He their office continues to handle a number of active cases against the church. He said survivors have been asking for this list for decades.
“If this is a victory for anyone, it’s a victory for the survivors who fought for it for years and years now,” he said.
The list contains 74 names. A majority of them are priests. All of them accused, and in some cases found guilty of sexually abusing children within the Catholic Church.
All of the men worked within the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
Archbishop Wester went onto say, “Not long after I became your archbishop, I concluded that a critical step is for the archdiocese to publicly acknowledge and identify those clergy and religious who have been accused of perpetrating child sexual abuse within our archdiocese.”
It’s the first time the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has publicly released any list of this sort, following years of criticism.
Father John Daniel spoke with KRQE News 13 on behalf of the archbishop.
“This isn’t something he entered into lightly or quickly,” he said. “He’s spoken with his advisors and felt this is the moment to move forward.”
Monagle said although this is a step in the right direction — there is still work to be done.
“Our hope is that is that this is a corner turned, a hand extended by the archbishop where there can be a more collaborative process of transparency between the archdiocese and survivors of abuse,” he said.
Some of the names listed are from civil and criminal cases that date back to the 90’s. Thirty-eight men on the list have already died.
The archbishop said the next information he plans to release are all of the assignments each clergy had within the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. No word on when he plans to release that information.