Texas Catholic dioceses to release names of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors


The 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas and the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter made the decision on September 30 to release names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor, going back at least to 1950.

The bishops’ decision was made 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 Michael Sis of the Diocese of San Angelo has released the following statement:

“The release of these names is an expression of accountability in our ongoing attempt to create a safe environment for all. Child sexual abuse is a crime against God and humanity. When carried out by a representative of the Church, it is especially troubling, and it can cause deep emotional and spiritual wounds.

“I offer my apology to anyone who has been hurt by any person affiliated with the Catholic Church, as well as for any time that any minister of the Church has failed to live up to Christ’s call to authentic holiness of life. I pledge to continue doing everything I can to safeguard the people of this diocese.

“Ongoing training and vigilance are essential to this project. I expect anyone who serves in any ministry of the Church in the Diocese of San Angelo to know and follow diligently our policy of Ethics and Integrity in Ministry. Since 2002, we have conducted background checks on 14,223 individuals and have had 10,522 people attend an Ethics and Integrity in Ministry workshop.

“I am committed to create a healthy environment, to fully investigate all allegations that are brought forward, to take necessary corrective actions to remove perpetrators from ministry, and to help victims find healing.”

“This is an action in response to the faithful’s call for greater accountability and transparency,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston. “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.”

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.

“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,” said Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, archbishop of San Antonio.

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. Each bishop will be releasing his own statement and list. The full statement of the bishops of Texas includes information on this work, and follows.

By law, suspicions of child sexual abuse must be reported to civil authorities. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services provides a secure website — https://www.txabusehotline.org — for reporting suspicions of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This website is intended for reporting situations that do not need to be investigated right away. It may take more than 48 hours to process online reports. In cases where it seems that a person is in immediate danger, call the Texas hotline, 1-800-252-5400, or 911.

To report any allegation of child sexual abuse committed by any volunteer or employee of the Diocese of San Angelo, contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator of the Diocese of San Angelo, Lori Hines, at 325-374-7609 or at lhines@sanangelodiocese.org.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Angelo serves the faithful in 29 West Texas counties under the leadership of Bishop Michael J. Sis.

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