All 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas will release early next year the names of clergy who have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of a minor, the Diocese of Dallas said in a statement Wednesday.
Texas bishops decided last month to release the lists of names by Jan. 31 as part of their effort “to protect children from sexual abuse” while promoting “healing and a restoration of trust” in the church, the statement said .
Dallas Bishop Edward Burns said the investigation constitutes a “major project” because it will include all 1,320 Catholic parishes in Texas.
“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,” Burns said in the statement. “I add my sincere sorrow for the pain that has been caused for victims and the Catholic faithful.”
A spokeswoman for the Dallas Diocese did not return a message Wednesday seeking an explanation of what will constitute a credible accusation against a current or former priest.
Wednesday’s announcement came a day after Burns told parishioners that his diocese has hired a team of former state and federal law enforcement officers to review the personnel files of 220 priests now serving in the diocese. An investigation will review any accusation against a priest, not just ones relating to the sexual abuse of minors. The investigation could be expanded to incl...