All 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas plan to release names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor, according to a release from the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops. The release will include all accusations dating back to the 1950s.
In an Oct. 10 statement released by the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio said that, because of the size of the state, compiling comprehensive lists will take some time.
Texas has 8.5 million Catholics in 1,320 parishes.
All dioceses plan to publish their lists by Jan. 31, 2019 and they will be updated as new information becomes available.
“Every bishop in our state has made a statement expressing his concern for all who have been hurt and I want to express my personal sorrow at such fundamental violations of trust that have happened,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston. “We are 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 Diocese of Fort Worth was the first diocese in Texas to begin publishing an updated list of clergy accused of sexual abuse. After first publicly identifying credibly accused priests in 2005, the list has been continually updated since 2007. The list currently contains the names of 15 priests, one permanent deacon, and one religious brother.
“Jesus shows how central and essential the respectful care and protection of the child and vulnerable are to the mission that He has entrusted to His Church, a mission that continues in the contemporary world,” Bishop Michael Olsen of Fort Worth wrote in a statement supporting the TCCB’s announcement.
“I maintain a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse of minors because ministry in the Church is a grace from God that carries with it sober responsibility, not a right to be claimed by anyone as an entitlement.