The Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ont., is apologizing for the pain caused by sexual abuse by priests, after a group of survivors released a list naming their alleged abusers.
“We wish to express our utmost regret for the suffering that has been incurred as a result of clergy sexual abuse,” the diocese said in a statement Thursday.
“We are sorry for the pain that clergy sexual abuse has caused.”
A group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) on Wednesday published a list it had compiled of 36 clergy members who were accused of sexual abuse over 50 to 60 years.
The list includes priests in the London diocese who were charged with or convicted of sexual abuse, or who were linked to victims who made allegations and successfully sued or settled with the church for more than $50,000.
It only included allegations involving minors.
In the statement, the diocese said the list “appears to be substantially correct” but that it cannot confirm its accuracy “in its entirety.”
In addition, the diocese revealed there are four priests, who are not on the list, who have allegations against them involving minors.
The statement went on to say that the diocese is committed to protecting vulnerable people, supporting survivors and “swiftly addressing allegations.”
Bishop Ronald Fabbro, who has met with many survivors and their families, has waived the confidentiality requirements from previous settlements allowing those who wish to tell their story to do so.
“We believe that there is no one way for survivors to respond and to heal from abuse. Only survivors of abuse, therefore, have the right to determine whether to publicly disclose their stories or not,” the diocese said.
The diocese said it will co-operate with police and judicial authorities whenever an investigation is required.