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Houston Matters

Expert: Here’s One Way The Catholic Church Can Regain Some Of Its Credibility

Rice University’s Dr. Anastasiya Zavyalova says the Church needs to release the names of priests credibly accused of abuse.

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Next month, more than a hundred Catholic bishops are expected to meet in Rome for a gathering dedicated to the sexual abuse crisis. In a letter released by the Vatican from the conference's steering committee, bishops were urged to meet with survivors of abuse. Committee members say the Church's credibility is at stake.

The upcoming conference comes as the Catholic Church continues to grapple with the fallout of the crisis.

Some bishops have released names of priests in their dioceses who've been credibly accused of child abuse. Dr. Anastasiya Zavyalova says it's a small step in the right direction. She’s an expert on reputation management from Rice University and has been studying allegations against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for more than a decade.

In 2005, a grand jury issued a report finding leaders concealed sexual abuse by priests there for four decades. Zavayalova has been examining how parishioners reacted to the archdiocese releasing names of the priests involved.

In the audio above, she explains why she believes releasing names of the accused can help the Church gain back some of its credibility.

Dr. Anastasia Zavyalova of Rice University has studied sex abuse allegations against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and advocates for releasing the names of priests who are credibility accused of abuse.
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