VIDEO: Press Conference Livestream
DALLAS– Bishop Edward J. Burns says the Diocese of Dallas released the names of all clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in his diocese dating back to 1950 through today. In doing so, he joins the bishops of the 14 other Catholic dioceses in Texas and the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in taking the action.
The Texas bishops made the decision on September 30, 2018, to release the lists of names in the context of their ongoing work to protect children from sexual abuse, and their efforts to promote healing and a restoration of trust in the Catholic Church.
Bishop Burns said, “Opening our files to outside investigators and releasing the names is something I have been considering for some time. 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.” Bishop Burns went on to say, “My brother bishops and I recognize that this type of transparency and accountability is what the Catholic faithful want and need.”
The bishops say that with 8.5 million Catholics and 1,320 Catholic parishes in Texas, the endeavor to compile a comprehensive list of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor represents a major project. All dioceses will publish their lists by January 31, 2019.
According to Bishop Burns, “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. I add my sincere sorrow for the pain that has been caused for victims and the Catholic faithful.”
The release of names of clergy credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor is part of an ongoing effort by the dioceses to provide an even safer environment for children. These lists will be updated as new information becomes available.
Anyone who has been sexually abused by clergy is encouraged to contact local law enforcement or call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or visit www.txabusehotline.org and the Diocese of Dallas Victim Assistance Coordinator, Barbara Landregan, at 214-379-2812.