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I-Team: Erie Diocese's abusive priest list more comprehensive than Buffalo's

Some in Erie have Buffalo connections
Posted at 1:32 PM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 15:50:15-05

Following Buffalo's lead, the Diocese of Erie, Pa., has released a list of priests and others who since 1944 have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

Erie's list, though, appears to be a much more comprehensive accounting of decades of child sexual abuse in the diocese, because unlike Buffalo's list, it includes:

  • Not only priests, but also laypeople -- many of them former Catholic school employees -- who have been accused of abuse. 
  • Locations or last known locations of those accused and basic details of whether the priests were "laicized," defrocked or forbidden to function as priests.
  • Priests who belong to religious orders but who operated in the diocese. 

The list also takes the extraordinary step of citing a former bishop -- the late Albert Wilson -- for failing to stop abuse that was "credibly reported to him."

The release of the list by Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico was first reported by the Erie Times-News and there are a few Buffalo connections. 

Persico's predecessor as bishop was Donald W. Trautman, "who led the diocese from 1990 to 2012 [but] did not publicize the names of abusive or defrocked priests," the Times-News reported

Before his appointment in Erie, Trautman served in top diocesan posts in the Diocese of Buffalo and was later elevated to auxiliary bishop of Buffalo.

Diocese of Buffalo spokesman George Richert -- when asked whether the diocese would be releasing any additional information to its original list -- said in an email, "I just cannot say definitively at this time."