Church leaders in Texas have released the names of 286 priests who have been credibly accused of sexually assaulting children. The list dates back decades and contains the names of many priests who have died or been defrocked for their actions. It does not name any priest accused of sexual misconduct with adults.
“The Bishops of Texas have decided to release the names of these priests at this time because it is right and just and to offer healing and hope to those who have suffered,” Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Galveston-Houston diocese said.
Church officials turned over the information they gathered to law enforcement, but most of the allegations fall outside of the statute of limitations.
Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns said that the church officials who tried to cover up the crimes could be held accountable for their actions. He said that in Texas priests are mandatory reporters of sexual abuse of minors and must notify law enforcement if they believe a child has been victimized. Anybody who fails to do so could face criminal charges.
"The church of today has implemented reforms to safeguard those in our care," Burns said. "Going forward, we must remain vigilant. We cannot grow lukewarm."
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