Over the last two decades, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States has reeled under claims of clerical sexual abuse. The claims resulted in extraordinary liability and wide-spread publicity. When bad things happen in any organization, the counter-policies imposed to fix those problems often overreach. This is precisely what is happening with the decision of some dioceses to publicize lists of names of former clerics who have had claims of sexual abuse made against them. The rationale is that publication of these names serves an interest in “accountability.” The motivation to publish the names is not based on any civil law, court order, or other legal mandate, but simply on internal diocesan policy.
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