In September, after years of pressure from survivors of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe publicly released the names of 74 priests, deacons and brothers it says have been credibly accused of abusing children in its parishes in the past several decades.
Many people hailed the list as an important first step in the archdiocese taking accountability for widespread suffering caused by a deeply rooted scandal. But a lawsuit filed Thursday in a state District Court in Albuquerque accuses the archdiocese of issuing a list that was “deceptively incomplete.”
According to the suit, filed on behalf of a man unidentified only as “John Doe 80,” dozens of priests who received treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete — a Jemez Mountains rehabilitation facility established in 1947 to treat pedophile priests — were omitted from the list.
The lawsuit lists the names of 46 priests who, it says, spent time at parishes within the boundaries of archdiocese and either received treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete or were accused of child sexual abuse — or both — and were not included on the list published Sept. 12.
The complaint says “survivors and their advocates continue to search for those names so that the list may be made as complete as possible.”
The suit centers on allegations that the archdiocese allowed the Rev. Robert Galli, a priest at St. Anne Parish in Bernalillo County, to sexually abuse John Doe 80 when he was a child.
Galli’s name did not appear on the archdiocese’s list.
John Doe 80 didn’t tell anyone about the alleged abuse because “Fr. Galli made it clear ‘no one will believe you’ and convinced Plaintiff that the abuse was a normal part of Catholic discipline,” the suit says, adding that the man struggled with anxiety and depression and suffered a psychological collapse in recent years.
Officials with the archdiocese did not respond to a message seeking comment on the lawsuit.
Filed by Albuquerque attorney Levi A. Monagle of the Law Offices of Brad Hall LLC, which has represented numerous survivors of childhood sexual abuse by clergy in complaints against the archdiocese, the suit seeks an unspecified amount of actual and punitive damages and legal costs.
“Because the true nature of Plaintiff’s injury is inextricably entangled with the skepticism of the general public regarding the widespread nature of priest abuse in the Archdiocese and because the [archdiocese’s] polices of institutional secrecy and evasion of transparency promote that skepticism,” the complaint says, ” … Plaintiff has not yet realized the nature of his injury, even with the help of professionals.
“Plaintiff cannot realize the nature of the injury” the suit says, ” … without defendants’ full disclosure of documents establishing that a cover-up of widespread abuse of minors by [the Archdiocese of Santa Fe] did in fact occur over the past decades in our state.”
Contact Phaedra Haywood at 986-3068 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @phaedraann.