Two clergymen with ties to Danvers were named in the list of clergy accused of sexually abusing children that was released by the Boston Catholic Archdiocese on Thursday.
The cases mentioned span the better part of six decades, and in many cases, including one of the two with a Danvers connection, the individuals accused of abuse have since died.
The 159 names on the list aren't necessarily news in themselves, but it the first time the Church has officially released the information.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley explained in a letter that he chose to withhold the names of certain priests, however, particularly ones that were never publicly charged while they were alive.
Out of 248 priests and two deacons accused of child sex abuse since 1950, 91 names were not released. That group includes deceased priests who weren't publicly accused, priests working in Boston under religious orders or other dioceses and those named in unsubstantiated accusations that didn't go public.
O'Malley was quickly criticized by advocates for clergy abuse victims and Attorney General Martha Coakley for not going far enough and releasing those names as well.
The list last week was broken into five categories, A-E. Category "A" cases were those where the accused was found guilty either by the Church, the state or both, and was either dismissed from office or sentenced to a life of prayer and penance and/or faced criminal charges.
The two Danvers priests on the list were:
- William M. Walsh, who was restricted after serving as a Parochial Vicar at from June of 1997 until January of 2004. Before having served in Danvers, Walsh was assigned to churches in Brockton, Hyde Park, and Jamaica Plan. Walsh is listed under Category: B, Cases That Have Been Concluded Canonically By Laicization. Walsh was laicized in 2011.
- John K Connell was Chaplain of from 1984 until 1995, having previously served in Dorchester, Cambridge, and Newton. Connell is also listed under Category: B. Cases That Have Been Concluded Canonically By Laicization (in 2005.) Connell passed away in 2007.