Since April of 2002 the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has published on its website the names of those clerics who were removed from ministry from 2002 through the present as a result of the sexual abuse of a child. At Bishop Perez’s direction, this information has now been compiled in a list format and updated to include the names of additional diocesan clerics who were removed from ministry as a result of sexual abuse of a child or who is already deceased or no longer in ministry for any reason and against whom have been made substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse.
The new names of diocesan clerics were added after the diocese concluded, based on the evidence available to it, that the allegations were more likely than not to be true. In compiling this updated information, the diocese reviewed all known allegations regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse occurred or whether the cleric was alive or deceased.
One of the names on the list is that of then-Father George Bailey, who was ordained in 1963 and served as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish from 1984 to 1989. The allegations associated with him predate his tenure at our parish. He has been removed from the clerical state.
Father Tony will hold a meeting — time and date to be determined — to discuss this issue. Please watch the website, bulletin and parish Facebook page for details, and those who have a Flocknote account will receive an email notification.
While the updating of this information is certainly an occasion of profound sadness, inasmuch as it reminds us of the great harm experienced as a result of sexual abuse, may it also be an occasion for healing and a step towards restoring trust in the Church.
See below to read the full text of Bishop Nelson Perez’ letter.