Texas Catholic Dioceses to Publish Names of Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse

Each bishop will release his own list. The lists will go back at least to 1950 and will be updated as new information becomes available.

The 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas will publish the names of members of the clergy accused of sexual abuse by January 31, 2019, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston announced Wednesday.

The 15 dioceses participating in this initiative of disclosure are Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Galveston-Houston, Laredo, Lubbock, San Angelo, San Antonio, Tyler and Victoria.

The Archdiocese detailed that each bishop will release his own list and added the lists will go back at least to 1950. The lists will be updated as new information becomes available.

According to the Archdiocese, the Texas bishops agreed on jointly releasing the names at a recent meeting in Austin “as part of ongoing work to protect children from sexual abuse and promote healing and a restoration of trust in the Church.”

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, said “this is an action in response to the faithful's call for greater accountability and transparency” and added the Catholic Church is “completely committed to eradicating the evil of sexual abuse in the church and promoting healing among the faithful and those injured by this crime.”

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, which is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the fifth largest in the United States, is engaging an outside consultant to conduct an independent review of its files and records, so that the list will be as accurate and complete as possible.

Cardinal DiNardo released this video regarding the initiative announced Wednesday.

SNAP’s reaction

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) reacted to the announcement with a statement that said it “is a good first step by Bishops in Texas,” but added the bishops’ “immediate second step should be to reach out to local prosecuting attorneys and Attorney General Ken Paxton and actively invite an independent investigation, one that comes with with subpoena power and the ability to compel testimony under oath.”

SNAP also noted that the organization thinks “each bishop should also put by each alleged predator’s name the date when he or his staff first learned of the allegation against that priest.”

Additionally, SNAP believes the lists should be permanently and prominently posted on the websites of dioceses and parishes “and should include the current or last known address of each accused person – whether living or dead, religious order or diocesan, along with accused seminarians, bishops, nuns, brothers and lay employees.”

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