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Decision has been made to release the names

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

November 14, 2018

My dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I am writing to address an important matter: the release of the names of priests removed from ministry according to the provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. In the past, we have declined to publicize the names of these individuals for many reasons, including due process questions. While there are strong arguments for releasing the names and strong arguments for not releasing the names, recent controversies in the Church make it necessary for us to now release the names.

The recent controversies and scandals have produced righteous anger, discouragement and frustration among the people of God. Increasingly, the faithful have called for the release of the names of those removed from ministry under the Charter. The list of names will be posted on our diocesan website.

I know the release of names will cause pain for those on the list, their families, former parishioners and friends. There will be a need for compassion and understanding among all of us. While our main concern is the safety of our young people and helping victims find healing and peace, we must also strive to uphold the dignity of those removed from ministry. Mercy and reconciliation are central to our mission as the Church of Jesus Christ.

We are facing great challenges in our Church. However, we remain Christ-led, Christ­fed and Hope-filled. We continue to trust in the Lord's presence among us and follow His way. As we face adversity, we remain faithful to our call and do the work the Lord gives to us. We are to fight the good fight, run the good race and keep the faith, to paraphrase St. Paul. Let us pray for and encourage one another.

Wishing God's blessings to you and your loved ones, I am

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg

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