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Group wants list of abusive priests

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — A support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse called for newly installed Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Baker to list names of abusive priests in the Birmingham diocese.

Ann Brentwood, Southeast regional director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held a news conference Friday on a sidewalk near St. Paul’s Cathedral.

She called for the bishop to make public lists of all offending clergy in the Birmingham diocese; all offending clergy transferred out of Birmingham to other dioceses; and all the parishes, hospitals and schools where those offending clergy have worked.

Other letters

Brentwood said she has mailed a letter to Baker asking for this information. Similar letters were sent this week to bishops in Little Rock, Ark., and Jackson, Miss, she said. Next week, letters will be delivered to bishops in Atlanta, Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C.

Brentwood, a Maryville, Tenn., retired teacher and health care worker, was a Dominican nun as a young woman. SNAP is a nonprofit support group founded in Chicago in 1989 for women and men wounded by religious authority figures.

In a statement Friday, the Diocese of Alabama said it takes “protection of our children very seriously.”

Any complaint of possible child sexual abuse, the statement said, is reported to the Alabama Department of Human Resources for official investigation, followed by an effort by the bishop to meet with the complainant to document the allegations.

A lay review board, which includes a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker and judge, reviews the information and makes recommendations to the bishop.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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