OKLAHOMA CITY – In the wake of recent abuse allegations of Catholic priests, the Oklahoma City Archdiocese — now taking steps to find out if there are victims here.
It was just last week – the scandal hit home, the Archdiocese announced they’d found credible evidence against a former Oklahoma City priest.
And now they are reviewing all priests’ files for past child sex abuse allegations.
In effort to be transparent, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is reviewing every file of every priest from the 1960’s to now, something one member of the Catholic church says will help the church purify itself.
“Obviously a horrible thing that any child would be abused, especially of someone in power,” said James Silk, a Catholic.
Like many, Silk was sickened and disturbed by the allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests across the country.
“It`s a terrible thing, but the church needs to be proactive to instill not only confidence in the faithful but also just to fulfill the mission as those who represent Christ,” said Silk.
And that’s exactly what the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is working to do.
The Archbishop is creating a plan for reviewing and reporting sexual abuse cases.
By digging through ever file of every priest from the 1960’s to now.
“We`re just going to put out our laundry whether it`s good or bad and just let everybody see it so they know exactly where we are in going forward,” said Michael Scaperlanda, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
Scaperlanda says if they find any file with allegation of abuse, it will be turned over to attorneys.
“This is really a time of purifying the church and at the top at the Hierarchy so we look forward, as painful as it may be at times to being thorough and transparent.”
Silk says this is a good first step for the catholic church to purify itself.
“As leaders you can`t just sit back and think everything is going to fix itself on it`s own,” said Silk. “It`s the duty of a leader to lead and it`s the duty of a leader to take what`s wrong and make it right.”
The report is expected to be done in about 10 to 12 weeks.
A second report, reviewing files prior to 1960, will be done after that.