February 28, 2020

MEMPHIS, TENN. Office of Communications

Before his installation as the sixth Bishop of Memphis, Bishop David Talley was “horrified and scandalized” by reports of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. He was heartbroken and deeply saddened for the victims of these crimes and was shocked to learn that some of those in authority ignored their cries or minimized the damage. 

Bishop Talley promised to do everything in his power to safeguard children and youth and to help those who were victims of abuse. He committed to being transparent and bringing to light any wrong doings of the past so healing can take place. 

Similar to what he had done as the Bishop of Alexandria in Louisiana, Bishop Talley immediately asked the Memphis Diocesan Review Board to examine, prepare and disclose a list of clergy, credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. Also, to insure the most thorough process, the Bishop authorized the employment of a professional investigation company, Inquisitor, to assist the Review Board in investigating claims. 

The Memphis Diocesan Review Board met numerous times to review any evidence in the Diocese of Memphis 442 clergy personnel files that might indicate sexual abuse of a minor. In all, there were three searches of the files with the most recent completed in December of 2019. In January, Bishop Talley asked the investigators to examine all of the files again to make sure that nothing had been overlooked. The investigators recently completed looking at every clergy personnel file. 

With that said, below you will find: 

 A letter from Bishop Talley addressing the sexual abuse of minors by clergy

 A full report to Bishop Talley from the Review Board with the credibly accused clergy list. 

 A recent Review Board Update that includes their names and backgrounds. 

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse as a minor, please immediately call The Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline at 1-877-237-0004. Sexual abuse is a serious crime and must be treated as such. If you would like more information or need help, please contact our Director of Child & Youth Protection at (901) 359-2027. 

The Diocese of Memphis recognizes that sexual abuse by clergy constitutes one of the most serious breaches of trust in human relationships, and that it can have devastating consequences for the victim and his or her family, for the Church Community at large, and for the priest or deacon involved. Therefore, to deal with abuse that has occurred and to prevent further problems in the future, the Diocese of Memphis developed policies, formed a Review Board, completes background checks, and provides VIRTUS training for priests, employees and volunteers. In dealing with issues of sexual abuse involving clergy, the Diocese:
  • Treats all allegations of sexual abuse seriously;
  • Educates clergy and laypeople about the problem of sexual abuse;
  • Has set in place screening procedures and educational policies on the subject for those training for ordained ministry;
  • Cooperates fully with civil reporting procedures governing sexual abuse; and
  • Always and in every instance of an allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor adheres to all mandated reporting requirements established by State and local governing agencies.
Should an allegation appear credible; the diocese will not transfer or reassign the accused priest/deacon while the allegation is being investigated. If deemed necessary, the accused priest/deacon will be removed from active ministry while the investigation is in process.

Report Abuse

If you are aware that a child is in immediate danger call 911. If you suspect abuse of a minor by a priest/deacon these numbers are important to report the abuse: Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline 1-877-237-0004 Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator 901-652-4066 Diocesan Director of Child and Youth Protection 901-359-2027 Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service 1 (800) 276-1562

National Review Board: Broaden the Scope of the Charter to Include Bishops

BALTIMORE—On Tuesday, November 13, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ independent lay advisory panel on the protection of children and young people delivered a special report to the body of U.S. bishops regarding the abuse crisis in the Church. In an address to the bishops who have gathered in Baltimore for the annual fall general assembly, National Review Board Chairman Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D., outlined key reforms and urged action. The report calls for broadening the scope of the Charter on the Protection of Children and Young People to include bishops; the publication of complete lists of credibly accused clergy in all dioceses; improving the audit process; and enhancing accountability for bishops regarding cases of abuse.

You can find the full report here:

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