Retiring NY Bishop Cites 8th Commandment as Reason for Not Revealing Priest Abuser Names

As he prepared to retire, 76 year old Syracuse bishop James Moynihan agreed to an exit interview of sorts with the local newspaper, the Post-Standard. During the interview, Moynihan was asked about the priest abuse scandal and his refusal to publicly reveal the names of priests in the Diocese of Syracuse who were accused of sexual abuse of minors.
Moynihan scoffed at the idea and took his brother bishops to task for revealing the names of priest abusers in other dioceses. The Post-Standard quotes Moynihan as saying, “We’re not supposed to,” he said. “It’s against the Eighth Commandment.”
Going a bit further, Moynihan chided his fellow bishops. “They shouldn’t,” he said. “They should remember their Baltimore Catechism.”
Well. . .I’m at a loss for words. The Eighth Commandment states, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Last time I checked the commandment concerns lying or spreading lies about another person. It doesn’t have anything to do with the socially and morally responsible action of publicizing known child predators who remain a danger to the welfare of children! I’m flabbergasted that a Catholic bishop would use one of the 10 Commandments to defend keeping secret the names of pedophiles and child abusers.
It’s just this sort of commentary that demonstrates why the NY State Legislature needs to pass the Child Victim Act. The Church isn’t going to voluntarily reveal the names of those who’ve abused children. We need legislation to allow survivors access to the civil justice system. The Catholic Church in Ireland is facing a similar credibility issue. The Irish government revealed its report concerning the shocking abuse of thousands of children who were in the control of Catholic orphanages and boarding schools. Yet the report never revealed the names of the abusers. This is half-baked justice.