The Canadian diocese of Saskatoon has promised to release a list of priests and Church officials found guilty of sexual abuse since 1933.
Brenda Fitzgerald, who heads the diocese’s Safeguarding Advisory Committee, said the diocese will publish a report detailing priests who were convicted in court or were found guilty in an internal investigative process. The report will also discuss the people who knew about the abuse and how it was handled.
“There is no doubt it is going to evaluate if past historical decisions were appropriate. And actually, by reviewing that, what can we learn for future situations?” she told CBC News.
Fitzgerald emphasized the importance of providing victims of sexual abuse with answers. She said it took longer than expected to create the list, but the committee wanted to provide the most accurate information possible.
“You have to give the appropriate level of time to become familiar with the cases, and to really see how that was handled,” in some cases more than half a century ago, she said.
“That’s what is really important — to learn from these because they are historical cases that with great regret and sadness, have happened.”
This is the second such list to be released by a Canadian diocese. The Vancouver diocese published a partial list in 2019.
Ontario lawyer Rob Talach, who has legally represented victims of sexual abuse by priests, said the report is reassuring, but added that the Canadian dioceses are behind in releasing this information. Similar lists have been published by a majority of the dioceses throughout the United States in prior years.
“We have to be careful to reward people who are late to the party. I mean, most professions in Canada — and throughout Saskatchewan is no exception — doctors, lawyers, regulated health professionals, they’ve all had to have publicly reported misconduct through their colleges, through their regulatory bodies, for decades,” Talach said, according to CBC News.