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Top 5 Questions About Substantiated Claims of Clergy Abuse

Filing a lawsuit against a sexually abusive priest can be difficult. There are many obstacles that can hinder you from getting the justice you deserve. One thing you need to know is that the claim must be substantiated, and you must provide proof beyond reasonable doubt that the priest abused you. Even with the long Orange County priest abuse list, you will find it hard to convince the law that a specific priest abused you sexually. If you want to understand more about substantiated claims against abusive priests, here are five questions to help you.

What are Substantiated Claims?

As mentioned earlier, a claim will only be considered true if there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This is called a substantiated claim because it has ample evidence to support it. That means, for a claim to be substantiated, there must be existing evidence that proves that the supposed abuse occurred. Sexual abuse claims against priests are not based on assumptions. The victim must provide sufficient evidence to back up their claim. A substantiated claim is different from a credible claim. The latter means that the claim is not clearly false.  

Can an Abusive Priest Be Re-Ordained into the Ministry?

If the priest is proven not guilty and there is not enough evidence to support the claim, they can be re-ordained into the ministry. However, if the evidence clearly shows that the priest was sexually abusive to a minor, they can never return to public ministry.  

What is the Verge of Removing a Clergy Member from the Ministry? 

Before a priest is completely removed from the ministry, investigations must be done. The clergy member will, however, remain pending until proven otherwise. 

The archdiocese will use the credible claim to conduct investigations. During the investigation, the work is solely done by the civil authority and the archdiocese is expected not to interfere with these investigations.

Does the Archdiocese Disclose the Names of Priests Whose Claims are Substantiated? 

Yes. The archdiocese is responsible for disclosing all the names of sexually abusive priests. However, the disclosure must follow after the claim is substantiated. The names must be published for the public regardless of the legal means used to substantiate the claim. The substantiated claim details will be published to the public, and parishes must be informed about where the man was posted and other important details.

Does the Church Support the Men on the Disclosure List Financially?

The financial support that a priest gets will depend on their situation. Generally, any priest, regardless of their circumstance should not be left destitute. Every person who has served as a priest is entitled to a pension and other benefits. So, the priest continues to get the benefits, but their expenses, like health care costs, are deducted from their trust.

To Wrap It Up!

The law, together with the Catholic Church supports the victims of sexual abuse from the priests. However, every reported incident must be substantiated. This means that the victim must provide sufficient evidence that proves the occurrence of the abusive incidence. Hopefully, these questions have helped you understand more about substantiated claims and what happens when a priest is proven guilty of sexual abuse.

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