15 Texas Catholic dioceses release names of clergy 'credibly accused' of sexual abuse

By Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor, Taisha Walker - Reporter

HOUSTON - All 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas released lists Thursday of clergy who have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse.

The list from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston includes 42 names. Of those listed, 19 have died.

Laredo, which was established in 2000, was the only diocese in the state to report no credible accusations of sexual abuse. Before that, it was part of the Diocese of Corpus Christi and the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

The church announced in October that the lists would be released this year, and would look at allegations dating back to 1950.

VIEW THE HOUSTON-AREA LIST | VIEW ALL TEXAS LISTS

On the list are the names of bishops, priests, deacons and other clergy members the Catholic Church says have been “credibly accused” of sexually assaulting a minor.

According to the church, an allegation is deemed credible if the bishop of the diocese determines there is reason to believe it is true after reviewing available information and a recommendation by a review board made up of laity.

Being listed does not mean these clergy members have been charged or convicted of any crimes.

RELATED: Did you have any contact with any priests named in the lists? Share your story HERE.

VIDEO: Legal implications of list of names released

Archbishop Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said the names are being made public to protect children from sexual abuse, promote healing and restore trust in the church.

DiNardo sat down with KPRC2’s Bill Balleza late last year about the reaction that will follow once the names go public.

“Can you give us a sense of the scope of the scandal that will emerge with this list?” Balleza asked DiNardo.

“One case is one too many, and we do have a number of cases,” DiNardo responded. “I think when you put them all together, some people might be taken aback, but I think a number of people will realize this is over the course of what, 60? 70 years.”

Members who attend the 9 a.m. Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart said the list was mentioned in a Thursday morning newsletter.

In it, the church talks about continuous prayer for all those affected by abuse saying "there is no such excuse for such acts and clergy should be held to the highest standard. Members are also urged to not allow the sins of a few to discourage their faith in the church.

Mary and Joseph George were in Thursday morning’s Mass when the list came up and they say they faith remains strong.

“I never lose my faith,” Joseph George said. “Humans make mistakes. Everyone makes mistake. There is nobody without sin. That’s a fact. We had to admit that.”

Viviana Almeida, another member who was at Thursday Mass said, “It’s difficult. I pray a lot about it because of course it’s my faith and it’s part of who I am. When you have something that is very strong in yourself and in your heart. Well, the only thing you can do is pray about it and just - God takes the control.”

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