Bishop Edward J. Burns has made parishioners at St. Cecilia Catholic Church aware of allegations of sexual abuse by their former pastor, Reverend Edmundo Paredes. The alleged criminal offenses reportedly occurred more than a decade ago. Upon learning of the allegations in February, diocesan officials immediately filed a report with law enforcement agencies so that an investigation could be launched.
The allegations came from three adults who said the criminal sexual acts occurred when they were in their mid-teens. The allegations were found to be credible.
The Diocese of Dallas suspended Paredes and he no longer is allowed to function or represent himself as a priest.
The Diocese of Dallas was also informed that theft had occurred at the parish while Paredes was pastor. The priest admitted to financial misconduct with certain parish funds. However, irregularities were not found with funds from St. Cecilia Catholic School or the funds donated for the rebuilding of the church following a 2007 fire.
Bishop Burns personally delivered the news of the allegations during the 5 p.m. Mass on Saturday, August 18 telling parishioners, “It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of these allegations. Our priority was to determine the truth and protect the victims who showed courage by coming forward. With the utmost sensitivity to victims, I have pledged to continue efforts of transparency and need to make you aware of this atrocious and sad event.” The Bishop went on to say, “I want to assure the entire community that we are working to find solutions to create a safer environment. I offer my heartfelt apologies that these crimes have happened in your parish and please know I am praying for all victims of sexual abuse and for all of you here in the St. Cecilia community.”
The Diocese of Dallas asks anyone who has suffered abuse by church personnel to report it to law enforcement.