Texas Catholic dioceses have announced plans to release the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor.
The lists will be released Jan. 31, 2019 and the lists of clergy will go back at least to 1950. It will include all 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas including the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville.
According to a press release, the decision was made in the context of the ongoing work of protecting children from sexual abuse and the effort to promote healing and a restoration of trust in the Catholic Church.
Bishop Daniel E. Flores of the Diocese of Brownsville said, “The care of victims and their healing is primary, and we must do what we can to strengthen those whose faith has been injured.” He added, “An accurate accounting of the past is necessary for us to move forward with integrity. To do this, it is important to develop processes that involve active participation of laypersons. We want to ensure that everything we do contributes to healing, transparency and accountability.”
The Catholic Church has faced severe criticism following reports earlier this year that 300 priests in the Pennsylvania area had allegedly abused more than 1,000 children and that their actions were covered up by diocese officials.
A Pew poll released earlier this month indicated only three out of 10 American Catholics approved of the way Pope Francis is handling the abuse scandal.