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The Latest: Names of 37 clergy accused of abuse released

March 19, 2019

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a Catholic diocese in Mississippi releasing the names of clergy accused of sexual abuse (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

A Catholic diocese in Mississippi has released the names of 37 clergy members it says worked in the diocese and have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

The Diocese of Jackson released the names Tuesday. It says 30 of the clergy members were accused of abuse in Mississippi and the others worked in Mississippi but faced allegations in other states.

Diocese chancellor Mary Woodward says the victims were boys and girls ranging in age from 5 to 17. She says the cases date from 1939 to 1998, and none of the accused clergy are still in active ministry.

Woodward says there are two additional cases involving clergy members whose names were not released Tuesday. One is on appeal. The other is under investigation and involves abuse alleged to have taken place in 1961 that was just recently reported.

Bishop Joseph Kopacz (KOH-paz) is apologizing to victims and their families.

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3:59 a.m.

A Catholic diocese in Mississippi is releasing names of clergy members it says have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Bishop Joseph Kopacz (KOH-paz) says the Diocese of Jackson is publishing the list Tuesday on its website.

The Jackson bishop says in a letter released Monday that he is “truly, deeply sorry” for any pain the list may cause.

Kopacz says “abuse of any kind is a sin, but the abuse of children and vulnerable adults is especially egregious.” He says it is “a sin that cries out for justice.”

The bishop says he encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a clergy member or church employee to come forward. He also says the church is taking steps to prevent abuse, including screening and educating employees and volunteers.