Texas dioceses to release names of clergy who sexually abused children

AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) The 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas and the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter will release the names of “clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor, going back to at least 1950,” the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Wednesday.

The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is the equivalent of a diocese for priests and laymen from Anglican backgrounds.

“My hope in releasing these names is to be transparent and begin to rebuild trust with the people I shepherd. This is only one action in response to this crisis in our church. As the Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, I am committed to protecting children from any abuse. Indeed, this is what Christ expects from me and all who serve His people,” Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of the Diocese of Austin said.

The bishops’ decision to release the names was reached on Sept. 30.

“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.”

All dioceses will publish lists by Jan, 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.

About 8.5 million Catholics live in Texas and there are 1,320 Catholic parishes in the state.