Lewis County Watch

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The Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle published a list this week of 77 priests who lived or served in Western Washington confirmed to have sexually abused children.

The move is part of an ongoing effort to be transparent, according to the archdiocese. 

Two of the priests mentioned served in Lewis County. Former priest Leo Racine served at St. Joseph Church in Chehalis from 1984 to 1985 and has since been laicized, according to the archdiocese. Laicized means having been removed from the status of being a member of the clergy.

James Toner served through St. Joseph in Pe Ell from 1926 to 1938 and is deceased, according to the archdiocese.

“I express my deepest apologies for the actions of those who were in positions of trust and who violated that sacred trust by abusing the vulnerable in their care,” wrote Archbishop J. Peter Sartain in a letter dated Jan. 15. “Our work in this area will not be complete until all those who have been harmed have received assistance in healing and until the evil of child sexual abuse has been eradicated from society.”

Clergy named in the report served or resided in the Archdiocese of Seattle, and were priests, deacons and had other assignments.

The archdiocese named clergy “for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined to be credible,” according to the report. 

For the full list, go to http://www.seattlearchdiocese.org

Survivors who have not previously come forward can do so by contacting the Archdiocese’s Pastoral Outreach coordinator at (800) 446-7762.

(1) comment


Let's hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Leo Racine or James Toner will find the courage to come forward and contact law enforcement no matter how long ago it happened or even if they are dead.
Silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

Judy Jones, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

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