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Erie Diocese to name priests accused of sexual abuse, but Syracuse Diocese won't

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo's decision to publicly name its priests who had credible allegations of sexual abuse involving a minor will be followed by one neighboring diocese, but not by  another.

After the Buffalo Diocese released on March 20 a list of 42 priests accused of abusing minors, the Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pa., said it plans to release its own list of accused priests in the coming weeks, the Erie Times-News reported last week.

But the Diocese of Syracuse has not changed its position about withholding the names of accused priests despite what the Buffalo diocese has done, according to newyorkupstate.com.

Erie's decision comes as the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office has been investigating the diocese's handling of abusive priests, the Times-News reported. Erie is one of six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania being investigated by the state Attorney General's Office. A report on that investigation is expected to be released sometime this year.

Lawrence Persico became bishop of the 13-county Erie Diocese in 2012, following the term of Bishop Donald W. Trautman, who served for 22 years. Prior to working in Erie, Trautman served as auxiliary bishop of the Buffalo Diocese.

An Erie Diocesan spokeswoman told the Times-News it would disclose a list after questions arose once Buffalo released its list.

But the Syracuse Diocese will not release names unless victims first identify their abusers, a diocesan spokeswoman said.

The diocese in Syracuse is led by Bishop Robert Cunningham, a former chancellor of the Buffalo Diocese. Advocates and lawyers who represent alleged clergy abuse victims have been pressuring the Syracuse Diocese to release a list.

In February, the Syracuse diocese established a compensation program for victims of clergy abuse, about two weeks before a similar fund for victims was announced by the Buffalo diocese.

Related: At least 55 Buffalo priests linked to sex allegations 

Removed from churches, some priests accused of sexual abuse live near schools

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