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Duluth Bishop releases list of 17 'credibly accused' priests

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The Diocese of Duluth on Wednesday released a list of 17 former priests who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that all of the priests on the list have been removed from the church, are under investigation or had died before the accusations surfaced. Four of them are alive today. Officials also released the names of five other priests with ties to the area who have been accused while working in other ministries.

The Northland's News Center reports that Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba said the abuse is a “sad truth that must be acknowledged.” He also said that the release of the list will help victims heal and encourage other victims to come forward.

Similar lists have been released by the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona. A lawsuit has been filed against the Diocese of New Ulm earlier this month for the release of a list of priests who have been credibly accused there. The Associated Press named the clergy scandal in the Catholic Church as one of Minnesota's top news stories of 2013.

The group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, released the following statement following the release of the Duluth list:
"For the church to move forward, it’s important that all this information come out to learn how to never repeat it so Catholic officials can better protect kids right now. Still, we hope today's disclosure will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Minnesota to step forward, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing."

Here's the list of the 17 credibly accused priests.

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