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Church names 44 Sacramento priests accused of sex abuse

April 30, 2019 GMT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Sacramento on Tuesday released a list of more than 40 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.

The Sacramento Bee newspaper published the list naming 44 priests and two permanent deacons in the diocese who were “credibly accused of sexually abusing about 130 victims in the past 70 years.”

The Sacramento diocese stretches from Vallejo in the San Francisco Bay Area to the Oregon border. Bishop Jaime Soto last year ordered staff members to go through personnel files and compile the list.

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Like other bishops in dioceses across the country, Soto was moved to release the names as part of a campaign of atonement within the Catholic Church in the U.S. and some parts of the world.

In an interview with The Bee , Soto called the details of abuse found in church records “gut wrenching,” ″sobering” and “repulsive.”

Many of the victims came from humble Latino families where priests got greater cultural deference, Soto said. Even now, Soto said he gets far more questions about the sex abuse scandal from English-speaking parishes than Spanish-speaking ones.

Soto said the diocese is exploring paying the victims. When asked what he hoped would come from the public airing of the church’s darkest secrets, Soto said that was up to the public.

“I need to be haunted by this and not let this go,” he said. “This is a rude reminder to me on remaining vigilant and being clear of who I serve. I serve the Lord Jesus and his people. They have to be first and foremost.”

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com