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Dioceses: More Than 50 Priests In Arizona On Accused List

Feb 26, 2004 | AP

More than 50 Catholic priests in Arizona have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children since 1950, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The number is the first comprehensive tally of abusive priests who have served in Arizona.

The numbers were compiled by The Arizona Republic in advance of a national report on the nature and scope of clergy abuse in the United States, which is expected to indicate at least 5,000 priests abused 12,000 victims.

That report, based on numbers calculated by each diocese, will be released Friday.

In Arizona, the Diocese of Tucson has named 25 accused priests, one deacon and one nun and the Diocese of Phoenix has reported 18 priests.

The Diocese of Gallup, N.M., had six abusive priests who served in Apache and Navajo counties in Arizona.

All three dioceses previously identified abusive priests.

The Diocese of Gallup, N.M., which includes Apache and Navajo counties and before 1969 included Coconino, Mohave and Yavapai counties, reported six of its seven accused priests served in Arizona.

Abuse cases have cost that diocese $190,000. Gallup listed 11 victims and a total of 494 priests who served the diocese during the 52-year period.

The Diocese of Tucson, which before 1969 included Maricopa County, has listed 25 priests. Nine served parishes in the Phoenix area. The Tucson information released before Thursday has not included cost figures, a clergy tally or a victim number.

The Diocese of Phoenix, in a report made public last September, listed 18 accused priests out of 1,097 priests who served the diocese since its founding in December 1969. Costs totaled $2.7 million. The diocese has not provided a number of victims.

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