The Latest: Catholic dioceses in Texas to ID accused priests
DALLAS (AP) — The Latest on response by Catholic dioceses in Texas to Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal (all times local):
The 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas early next year will release the names of clergy who have served in a parish since 1950 who have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of a minor.
The move was announced in a statement Wednesday by Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.
Texas bishops made the decision Sept. 30 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.
A spokeswoman for the Dallas Diocese was not immediately available to explain what will constitute a credible accusation against a current or former priest.
Burns says the investigation constitutes a “major project” because it will include all 1,320 Catholic parishes in Texas.
Bishop Edward Burns says the Catholic Diocese of Dallas has hired a team of former state and federal law enforcement officers to review the personnel files of hundreds of priests now serving in the diocese.
Burns said during an announcement Tuesday that the investigation began in February and is meant to ensure a safe environment for parishioners. The team will investigate any accusation against a priest, not just ones relating to sexual abuse of minors.
A diocese spokeswoman told The Dallas Morning News the review will focus on the 220 priests active in the diocese, but could be expanded to include those who previously served.
The investigation comes after Burns in August revealed a former pastor, Edmundo Paredes, was accused of abusing three boys more than a decade ago.
Paredes has not been heard from since about March.