AUSTIN, Texas — The 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas and the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter announced they will release names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor, going back at least to 1950.
- Names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse will be released
- All 15 dioceses will release lists by January 31, 2019
- Lists will be updated as new information becomes available
The decision was made in an ongoing effort to protect children from sexual abuse, and in an efforts to promote healing and a restoration of trust in the Catholic Church.
“This is an action in response to the faithful’s call for greater accountability and transparency,” Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston said. "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. 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.”
According to the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, Texas has an estimated 8.5 million Catholics and 1,320 parishes. The TCCB said all dioceses will publish their lists by January 31, 2019.
"It will take some time for files to be reviewed, and there may be people who come forward with new information following this announcement. My brother bishops in Texas and I agree that transparency in this painful matter of sexual abuse can assist with healing for survivors and transformation for our Church," Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, archbishop of San Antonio said.
In response, Archbishop Garcia-Siller announced the formation of the Lay Commission on Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The commission will compile a list of credible complaints and update procedures for addressing future allegations.
"Honesty and transparency will be painful and at times deeply troubling, but I believe that it is the best path to healing for survivors and the only path to transformation for our Church," Archbishop Garcia-Siller said.
The archbishop said he has talked with several survivors. However, it is unclear how many have come forward at this point.
"We have to address this horrible sin of sexual abuse of minors and provide victims the opportunity to reach out for help," he said
TCCB said the lists will be updated as new information becomes available. For information on how to report suspicion of child abuse, visit the TCCB website.