She has watched as diocese after diocese has identified Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children. She saw the victims who, after confronting decades of church silence, could edge toward a sense of closure as bishops apologised and publicly named clergy members who abused them.
Yet for Janet Cleary Klinger, the silence has continued.
She said she had been abused as a teenager by a priest from her family's parish in the Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, which sprawls over the suburbs of Long Island.
But the Rockville Centre Diocese — one of the largest in the country with an estimated 1.5 million Catholics — has resisted publishing the names of priests credibly accused of abuse. It is the only diocese in New York that has not released a list. Miami, San Francisco and St. Louis are among the others nationwide.
Church leaders in many dioceses have hailed the release of lists of accused priests as a move toward transparency that will help quell tensions with followers.
But the dioceses that have declined to name priests are calling into question the church's broader efforts to make amends for the abuse scandals, stirring a growing backlash from victims and their supporters.
They argue that the lack of disclosure creates another impediment toward understanding the church's handling of the sex abuse epidemic across the nation and makes it more difficult to hold its leaders accountable.
"I, along with a lot of other people, have waited a long time to feel validated, and we continually cannot get that from the Diocese of Rockville Centre," Cleary Klinger said. "We get nothing from the Diocese of Rockville Centre."
Officials in dioceses that have not released names contend that declining to make such a disclosure does little to stand in the way of their pursuing a robust effort to help victims and prevent abuse.
"The Diocese of Rockville Centre, as a long-standing practice, works closely with law enforcement to make certain that all accusations of child sexual abuse against clergy — credible or not — of which the diocese is aware are reported," Sean Dolan, a spokesman for the diocese, said in a statement.
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He added: "The relevant civil authorities have the names of all clergy known to the diocese who have been accused of sexual abuse of minors."
Opponents of the church's handling of the abuse scandal said some bishops' reluctance to release more details underscored what they considered a major flaw in the flood of disclosures: It is a hodgepodge response, where each bishop operates at his own discretion in choosing what, if any, information to share.
The church's leadership in the United States has not adopted any kind of formal standard for disclosure. Some bishops have provided work histories and even photographs of accused priests. Others listed only names, the year of their ordination and their status with the diocese. And some have declined to take part at all.
"There's no incentive to act in good faith," said David Clohessy, a victims' advocate. "There's no incentive to put out anything other than a small amount of information."
Bishops across the United States started publishing the lists at a rapid clip after the damning grand jury report in Pennsylvania last August that unfurled decades of allegations, including efforts by church officials to discourage victims from reporting abuse and pressure the authorities not to investigate.
The report prompted the New York attorney general's office and law enforcement officials elsewhere to initiate inquiries. It also undermined the confidence of many Catholics in the church's leaders.
In January, bishops in Texas named nearly 300 priests credibly accused of abuse. In February, bishops in New Jersey published the names of nearly 200. Around the same time, the archbishop of Hartford, Connecticut, named 48 priests and offered a series of reparations Masses in which he prostrated himself before the altar as he pleaded for forgiveness.
Advocates said the disclosures reached a pivotal moment in April when the Archdiocese of New York, a center of gravity in the US church and a holdout for months, published a list of nearly 120 accused clergy members.
As the disclosures continued, some dioceses changed their stance. In Charlotte, North Carolina, a spokesman for the Most Reverend Peter Joseph Jugis told The Charlotte Observer in January that the diocese did not "want to pile on and do more" to inflict further pain on victims, suggesting that publishing the names would do that.
Yet last week, Jugis relented. "I have come to believe that a full airing of abuse from the past is crucial in the healing process for victims and for the entire church," he said in a statement announcing that the diocese would release its list by the year's end.
Many abuse survivors have welcomed the lists as long-sought recognition from the church. The disclosures have also put a spotlight on the clergy members from the lists who are still alive, including some who continued working with children.
One former Jesuit resigned from a teaching job at a prestigious prep school outside New York City after his name was included on one of the order's lists.
Still, advocates have criticized the disclosures as pocked with holes, with few details shading in the nature of the abuse allegations or how church officials responded to them when they were made.
David Gibson, director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University, said the process to identify the priests, both dead and alive, was a fraught one. Most were never convicted, much less charged with a crime. The threshold for being included on the lists was being the subject of abuse claims that were deemed credible after an investigation by the church. "There are still real moral, ethical and legal considerations," he said.
"The good news is they're doing it, finally," Gibson added.
The disclosures, which have centred on decades-old allegations and largely named dead priests, have nonetheless unleashed a fresh wave of attention that has amplified the sense of scandal surrounding the church. In other dioceses, bishops have struck a conciliatory tone, describing the releases as a gesture meant to help victims heal and mollify an unsettled flock.
But in Rockville Centre, a diocese covering Nassau and Suffolk counties, Bishop John Barres has concerns about making a disclosure. "The diocese believes that while the investigations of claims and allegations are ongoing, it is premature to release a list of accused clergy," Dolan, his spokesman, said. (Last year, officials overseeing the diocese's Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program said it had offered settlements in more than 200 abuse claims.)
Cleary Klinger, who is the local leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, had little optimism that the diocese would alter its course. "If we get a list, we'll be lucky," she said.
Even so, she and other abuse survivors press on.
Donald Nohs, who said he was abused by a priest from a religious order when he was around 13 years old, still has strong ties to the Catholic Church. He is an expert on the Shroud of Turin, and president of the Society of the Holy Face of Jesus. His brother is a priest in the Rockville Centre Diocese.
He said prayer had led him to forgive his abuser, even asking Jesus, "Don't let what he did to me stop his soul from going to heaven." Yet he said he maintained his zeal in pushing for change in the church.
"You've got to recognise the root cause and weed it out," Nohs said.
"You're not going to stop it if there's not full disclosure," he added. "I'm not angry. I'm very much at peace, by the way."
Teresa Cash-Ferrara said she can trace many turns in her life back to the relationship that started with a priest when she was about 12 and continued for several years: her career choices, her drift away from Christianity and her return to Catholicism.
She was torn over the disclosure of priests' names, fearing it could stir turmoil in parishes and create new pain. She has worked hard to quiet her own anger.
"It destroys," Cash-Ferrara, a horseback riding instructor, said. "It continues to destroy your life and those around you."
But she also acknowledged that going public with suspected abusers could help bring about healing for victims and the church. "It's not just this black hole in your past," she said. "You can bring some good out of it."
Written by: Rick Rojas
Photographs by: Elizabeth D. Herman
© 2019 THE NEW YORK TIMES