ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Survivors of child sexual abuse coming together on Tuesday for the announcement of a new report that names more than 80 members of the Albany Diocese as perpetrators.
The list says 83 priests and clerics have been publicly accused of child sexual abuse. Victims shared their stories in hopes that others will come forward. They say the individual needs to be held accountable, but also the institution that allowed the abuse to happen.
The following is a statement by Mary DeTurris Poust, Director of Communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, in response to Tuesday’s press conference:
“We want to say first and foremost to the survivors who spoke today that we are inspired by their courage in coming forward and grateful for their willingness to bring light to situations that may have been in darkness for too long. Any time we hear survivors recount the horrors of sexual abuse, our hearts ache for them and their families, for childhoods stolen and for futures torn apart.
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany are committed to justice for those who have been sexually abused by priests and others in whom they put their trust.
From the Independent Mediation Assistance Program launched in 2004, to the pro-active release of a list of clergy offenders in November 2015, to the recent establishment of a task force whose job is to support survivors and seek restorative justice on their behalf, the Bishop and the Diocese continue to strive to put survivors first and to emphasize transparency.
Our first concern is for the survivors, and we stand ready to accompany them, support them, and assist them.
Any claim received by the Diocese of Albany is immediately forwarded to the appropriate District Attorney and subsequently sent to the Diocesan Review Board for independent investigation. The Diocese of Albany urgesall victims to report any instance of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, its employees, or volunteers, to civil authorities and to contact the diocesan Assistance Coordinator at (518) 453-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”