Cleveland Catholic Diocese should release more names, child-abuse victims’ advocate groups say

Claudia Vercellotti, who heads the Ohio chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the Boston-based research organization, spoke on the sidewalk outside of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland.

By Jonathan Walsh

Release more names and more information. That was the call from victims advocates to the Catholic Church in Cleveland. The recent revelation of a former St. Ignatius priest being credibly accused of abusing children has sparked one organization’s deeper dive into priests who’ve served in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

Anne Barrett Doyle is the co-director of She stood in front of the Downtown cathedral today saying dozens of additional names of priests should be on the Cleveland Catholic Diocese credibly accused list. One of the names is a priest who we broke the story on last year.

“It’s hard to trust people,” said Tammie Mayle in tears just last year in a News 5 exclusive investigation. At the time, she had just filed a lawsuit saying while she was a child at the former orphanage called Parmadale, Father John Leahy abused her.

“(He) guided another child and myself to have sexual acts…in front of him and three or four other males,” she said in the interview.

“These are secrets that the diocese knows or should know,” said Barrett Doyle, who announced today that she has found 50 names, many of whom are on other dioceses’ lists across the country, that should be included on the Cleveland list. One of her names is Leahy.

“The case of Reverend John Leahy is a perfect example of the damage that (current diocese leader) Bishop Malesic is doing with his silence about abuse,” she told us.

Barrett Doyle said Bishop Edward Malesic is not doing enough to inform the community. She said in contrast, the Jesuits recently released information about Father Frank Canfield at St. Ignatius High School and the credible allegations against him, even providing a frequently asked questions section on its site.

She told us Cleveland deserves transparency. “I want this to be a place where kids are protected, where victims are honored and validated,” said Barrett Doyle.

Claudia Vercellotti, from the organization Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, said there are up to 145 more priests who were in Cleveland that could be named.

“Give a full, unabridged accounting of all credibly accused clerics, volunteers, staff members,” said Vercellotti. “It’s not just the sexual predator. It’s those who knew or should have known and provided cover.”

We went straight to the diocese offices to get their side of the story. No representatives came out to answer our questions on camera.

“This is information that belongs to the victims, that belongs to the families of the victims, that belongs to the faithful of Cleveland,” said Barrett Doyle.

The faithful, like Mayle, said it’s not as simple as just forgetting about the abuse she endured.

“How often do you think of that?” we asked.

“My whole life,” Mayle responded.

The list of the 50 names released today can be found on the site

The Cleveland Catholic Diocese released this statement in response to today’s news conference:

“The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is steadfastly committed to the protection and safety of children, as demonstrated in its robust policies regarding background checks, its education and training, its commitment to reporting all allegations of child sexual abuse to civil authorities, and by the fact that no cleric in the Diocese of Cleveland against whom a substantiated allegation has been made is permitted to ever again serve in ministry. 

The Diocese also makes public the names of any cleric who has been accused of child sexual abuse, regardless of when the alleged conduct took place or whether the accused is alive or deceased, provided the allegation is substantiated.

This list does not include non-diocesan clergy (clerics serving other dioceses) or clerics who belong to a religious order, only clerics of the Diocese of Cleveland. 

For more comprehensive information on how the Diocese of Cleveland reports and compiles these lists and to view the current list, please visit our website.

Complete Article HERE!

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