All 15 Catholic Dioceses to Name Accused PriestsTop Stories

October 11, 2018 10:45
All 15 Catholic Dioceses to Name Accused Priests

(Image source from: Time)

The Diocese of Dallas on Wednesday said in a statement that all 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas will release the names of clergy early this year who have been "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of a minor.

Earlier this month, Texas bishops decided to release the lists of names by January 31 as part of their attempt "to protect children from sexual abuse" while promoting "healing and a restoration of trust" in the church, the statement said.

Dallas Bishop Edward Burns said the probe constitutes a "major project" because it will include all 1,320 Catholic parishes in Texas. "My brother bishops and I hope this action can be a step that leads to healing for all those who have been harmed by members of the Church," Burns said in the statement. "I add my sincere sorrow for the pain that has been caused for victims and the Catholic faithful."

The announcement on Wednesday came a day after Burns told parishioners that his diocese has hired a team of former state and federal law enforcement officers to review the personnel files of 220 clergymen at present serving in the diocese.

The probe will review any charge against a priest, not just ones linked to the sexual abuse of minors. The investigation could be expanded to include those who previously served.

"Opening our files to outside investigators and releasing the names is something I have been considering for some time," Burns said in Wednesday's statement. "Since I believe it is the right thing to do, the Diocese of Dallas has had outside investigators, a team made up of former FBI, state troopers and other experts in law enforcement, examining our files since February, and they still have work to do."

The probe comes after Burns in August revealed a former pastor, Edmundo Paredes, was accused of abusing three boys more than a decade ago.

The decision this week by the 15 Texas dioceses is accordant with attempts in other states, such as California and Ohio.

-Sowmya Sangam

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Texas  Catholic Dioceses  Diocese of Dallas