57 priests named in Syracuse Catholic Diocese child sexual abuse list


SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Fifty-seven priests have been named, with credible claims of child sexual abuse against them, by the Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese Monday morning.

At least eight of the priests listed have ties to the Mohawk Valley in some way. 

The local priests include: Felix Colosimo, who served most recently at Our Lady of the Rosary in Utica, and has also served at St. Leo's in Holland Patent – he was removed from ministry and has died. Robert Kloster, who has been removed from ministry. James f. Quinn has died. William Lorenz has been removed from ministry. Thomas Guyder who served locally at St. Agnes, was removed from ministry and is deceased. Chester Misercola, who was removed from the ministry. Martin Tracy, a priest in the Oriskany area during the 50s and 60s, has died. And Charles Sewall is among them, he too has passed away.

In all, 19 of the clergy members are still living, and have been removed from the church. There are 38 priests on the list that are deceased. The list includes all priests who have been found with credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them.

This all comes on the heels of the New York state attorney general launching a probe back in September into all eight dioceses in the state, seeking information about whether or not church officials knew about and covered up sexual abuse by clergy.

Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham says that the list of names was provided by district attorney office's from all counties within the diocese, and that there are no active clergy members with a credible allegation of abuse against him.

The church is addressing the tragedy that some of its members have "harmed children and young people," and promises that steps have been taken to help victims, and to "maintain a culture in which chidlren and young people are safe and protected."

Cunningham said in his letter to parishioners that, "we are at a criticial juncture in the history of our church." His hope is that although the list will cause pain for some victims, families of the accused, friends and parishioners, that is will also bring peace and healing to the faith community and those directly harmed. 

The bishop previously did not want to name those with credible allegations against them in order to respect the wishes of the accuser. He says that after prayer and reflection, he saw this as a roadblock in the effort to move forward on the local level. He added that he didn't think it would be fair to his successor to leave him to make that decision. 

The focus of the Catholic Church, according to Cunningham's letter, will now be to try rebuilding trust and "forging a path to restoring and strengthening the faith."

NewChannel 2 spoke with Danielle Cummings, the chancellor/director of communications at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, Monday morning. She says it's important to note each category on the list and pay attention to those categories. For example, some of the priests have passed away and were accused after their deaths.