Lists of Roman Catholic priests form the documentary infrastructure of clerical sexual abuse. Based on an ethnography of one such list—a document compiled deep inside a Central American prison by a convicted cleric—this essay argues that such lists are, formally speaking, impractical. Impracticality names the way in which some lists may appear to be flat and referential but in fact are more concerned with evoking affects. It is an ambiguity that Church leaders manipulate to conjure the feeling (but not the fact) of transparency.

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