A county judge in Minnesota has given the Catholic Church just two weeks to turn over the names of at least 33 priests who are accused of abusing children.
After nearly 30 years of fighting for the names to be released, advocates finally convinced Ramsey County Judge John Van De North to order the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to reveal the name of the alleged abusers, according to WCCO.
The church compiled a list of the clergy accused of child abuse in 2004, but a 2009 ruling had kept it private. Judge Van De North also ordered the church to reveal any priests who have been accused since 2004.
“The era of secrecy around the identities of those offenders is now drawing to and nearing an end,” attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents victims of abuse, explained. “Survivors who suffered alone in silence, thinking they are the only ones abused now know they may not be alone”
Last month, Archbishop John Nienstedt had promised to release some — but not all — of the names the advocates had been calling for.
In a statement on Monday, the Archdiocese said it was “grateful for the approval of Ramsey County court to release information relating to priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in our archdiocese.”
The Archdiocese vowed to release the names by the end of the week.
Watch this video from WCCO, broadcast Dec. 3, 2013.