Catholic diocese of Memphis releases list of priests accused of child sex abuse

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(Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Catholic Diocese of Memphis on Friday released a list of 20 priests in the area determined to have credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving children.

“Our Diocese of Memphis realizes the extent of damage caused by the sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by Catholic clergy. This realization has left us horrified,” said the Rev. David Talley in a letter to Memphis parishioners that accompanied the report.

Talley was installed as Bishop of Memphis in 2019 and ordered an examination of the diocese’s files dating back to its founding in 1971, which was reviewed by priests, a review board of laity and an independent investigation firm, he said.

“We are heartbroken and deeply saddened for the victims of these crimes and we have been scandalized to learn that some of those in authority ignored the cries from victims or minimized the damage,” Talley wrote.

Most of the priests included in the list are now dead, or were dismissed or suspended from the ministry. Some names have been reported previously.

The list includes the Rev. Carroll T. Dozier, who served as the Bishop of Memphis from 1971-82, before his death in 1985. Talley said the Memphis diocese found no evidence of credible allegations locally, but Dozier was included in a list of accused priests from the diocese in Richmond, Virginia, where he also served.

Dozier’s mural was removed from a downtown building last year after controversy arose over the allegations.

To see the report listing priests determined to have credible accusations, click here.

► To read Talley’s letter, click here.

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