A total of 286 priests and others accused of assaulting minors since 1950 are named by the Catholic Church in Texas.
The list is the longest to date published after a crushing report from a major jury in Pennsylvania last year. There it was revealed that over 300 priests had been behind abuses for the past 70 years.
– The bishops in Texas have decided to publish the names now because it is the right thing to do and to offer hope and healing to those who have suffered. On behalf of anyone who has failed in this area, I will regret the deepest. This is a wound that tears the church and we need time to heal, says Cardinal Daniel D. DiNardo, who heads the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
All the dioceses in Texas, as close as one, name Thursday people who have been the subject of credible allegations of abuse. Fort Worth has not made any names this time, but published names over a decade ago and revised its list in October.
Several of the dioceses have used retired police officers and federal investigators to review archives and other material to investigate the allegations of assault allegations.
It is unclear whether publication may cause local criminal cases to be raised. The surveys go back seven decades in time, and the majority of those named are no longer alive.
Can be prosecuted
“We are committed to assisting local police and any public prosecutor requesting help to get rid of this evil and removing those who may pose a threat to children in Texas,” spokesman Marc Rylander said in the state justice.
– So far we have not received any such requests, but we are ready to assist in line with the state laws.
Cardinal DiNardo, who also heads the American Association for Catholic Bishops, is scheduled to attend a summit Pope Francis has convened in February. The goal is to make the world’s church leaders aware of the victims’ pain, teach them how to investigate cases of abuse, and develop practices that can be used throughout the church.