This week, the Diocese of Gallup released the names of 30 priests and one lay teacher who were credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors while working within the Diocese. Many of the priests were already known or had their names made public in earlier releases, but this list also includes names that were not released previously. The parishes where the accused clergy were stationed, along with the years they served, are also listed.
In a letter accompanying the release, Bishop Wall noted that the release of these names helps to fulfill a commitment he made after first becoming the leader of the Diocese of Gallup, when he noted that he hoped to strive for both transparency and the protection of children. He also emphasized that the publication of the list is part of an ongoing process in striving to strengthen the Diocesan Catholic community and bring healing to survivors of abuse.
Here is the full letter from Bishop Wall:
“To the Laity, Religious and Clergy of the Diocese of Gallup
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus:
When I became the Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup, I committed to ensuring that the children in this Diocese and in the Parishes, Missions or Schools that operate within the Diocese were protected. The Diocese published names of those working within the Diocese against whom there were credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. In my ongoing commitment to protection of children and to further my goal of transparency within this Diocese, we have determined that there are additional priests against whom there have been credible allegations of child abuse who worked in various places within the Diocese. I have sent letters to each Parish, Mission or School within the territory of the Diocese of Gallup where each of the priests or others served advising them that there was a priest who was ministering in that Parish, Mission or School against whom we have determined there were credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.
As part of my ongoing commitment, we are now putting all the names, places and dates of service of credibly accused priests on the Diocese’s website. This list will include the priests previously named as well as those who are being named now.
The publication of these additional names does not mean that our vigilance and continued investigation ends here. The investigations remain ongoing. The survivors who have come forward should be commended for their bravery and courage, and I express my deepest apologies for the actions of those who violated the trust of the survivors and the parishioners within the Diocese by committing these terrible acts. I reaffirm my commitment to protect our children and my commitment to continue to assist those who have been harmed.
If you or a loved one were harmed by the sexual misconduct of an employee or clergy within the Diocese of Gallup, we strongly encourage you to contact law enforcement. We also welcome you to contact the victim assistance coordinator at the Diocese, at 505-906-7357.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop James S. Wall”