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Diocese News 11.10.2020

Statement from Bishop Edward Burns, Diocese of Dallas

I am grateful that our Holy Father Pope Francis has had these allegations thoroughly investigated and taken the action he has. The report demonstrates that no member of the clergy including bishops and cardinals is above the law and must answer for sinful, criminal actions. Theodore McCarrick received the most severe penalty the Church can administer when he was stripped of the clerical state.

Having learned from the sins of the past, the Church today operates far differently than it did decades ago. In 2018, I asked a team of former FBI agents to thoroughly review all priest files to look for any possible misconduct. In 2019, the Diocese of Dallas released the names of all priests who have received a credible allegation of misconduct dating back seventy years to 1950 and cooperated with local law enforcement agencies in the investigations of cases that resulted from that list.

Today, those applying to the seminary must undergo psychological evaluations to qualify for acceptance to the program. I have directed seminarians to report concerns or specific allegations of misconduct to an outside independent member of the lay (non-clergy) review board.

And, earlier this year, the Diocese named former Dallas Deputy Police Chief Albert Martinez to the newly created position of Director of Security to work with our churches and schools to provide the safest environment possible. The Diocese of Dallas is serious about creating a safe environment.

The Diocese of Dallas will continue to be vigilant in looking for safeguards to protect the people we serve. We continue to pray for all victims of abuse and encourage anyone who has been abused to report it to law enforcement.