YAKIMA, WA - The Diocese of Yakima has released a list of sex offenders within the church.
The list of names the church made public is 3 pages long with over 20 names.
"[We're] a little bit embarrassed because anytime we have to talk about the mistakes and crimes of the past, it brings us those kinds of feelings but also I guess in a sense relieved that we are able to make this announcement finally, and hopeful that people that have been abused in the church might be willing to come forward," said Chancellor Robert Siler with the diocese.
Making the list public is something that was highly discussed and took years to make happen. Chancellor Siler says this is a conversation that has intensified throughout the entire country.
The list names 21 individuals, including some who are deceased.
"Most all of the cases that are covered in this list are more than 20 years old and some as old as 60 years old," Chancellor Siler said.
In regards to how long the abuse might have happened varies.
"There may be a few cases where someone abused over a span of years, but my sense in reviewing the history of the Diocese of Yakima is that once the bishops became aware of abuse they acted promptly to remove the abuser from ministry."
Chancellor Siler made one thing clear.
"The Catholic Church has a zero tolerance policy. That once an allegation of abuse of minor is substantiated then that person can never minister in the Catholic Church again."
The most recent case involving someone from this list happened two years ago.
Chancellor Siler hopes this creates a movement of transparency within the church and the community.