Bishop Accountability


Charles V. Grahmann
Dallas TX

The staff at has gathered information about Bishop Charles V. Grahmann's role in the sexual abuse crisis. Below you will find suggestions for exploring the voluminous evidence, resources for study (including important documents and Web sites), and an archive of media reports and other sources.


When Charles V. Grahmann became bishop of Dallas in 1990, Rudy Kos’s personnel file contained numerous “red flags,” including repeated complaints from a fellow priest who had found Kos in bed with a boy, and detailed logs of boys’ visits to Kos’s bedroom from another priest. Grahmann cancelled a scheduled psychiatric exam for Kos and kept him in his parish for months after a social worker described him as “a textbook pedophile.” See "Bishop Stands By Decision; Removal Delayed For Kos' Evaluation."

Instead of ending Kos’s access to children, Grahmann admitted in 1997 that he merely told Kos “Stop. Don’t have little boys overnight…I’ll move you if you do.” See this admission in Grahmann’s testimony during the civil suit brought by Kos’s victims against the diocese.

The failure by Grahmann and his predecessor, Thomas Tschoepe, to stop Kos from molesting children led to the largest clergy abuse judgment ever. See 'Kos Jury Awards $119 Million; Diocese Found Grossly Negligent."

Although Grahmann ultimately had Kos defrocked, he failed to remove from the priesthood other known child abusers, including Frs. Patrick J. Lynch and Richard T. Brown. See "Other Priests in Abuse Cases Weren't Fired: Attorney Says It's Unfair to Equate Them with Kos" and "Shadow of Abuse Lingers: As Diocese Seeks Resolution This Year, One Priest's Case Proves Particularly Difficult."

Grahmann reinstated a priest in May 2003 who had admitted fathering a child by a nun who said he raped her. See "Bishop Letting Priest Work: He Has Admitted to Fathering Child; Diocese Cites Lawsuit Dismissal."

In further violation of his own highly regarded sex abuse policy, Grahmann retained a close associate as rector of the Dallas cathedral, despite a credible accusation that the rector had groped a man 11 years earlier. See "Priest Serves Despite Allegation: Leader of Dallas Cathedral Accused of Groping Man in '91."

This incident further exposed an ongoing conflict between the bishop and his Vatican-appointed successor, coadjutor Joseph Galante, who tried unsuccessfully to persuade Grahmann to remove the rector. Grahmann continues to depress morale and anger laypeople by retaining his position years after Galante’s expected accession. For background on the conflict, see "Two Bishops, Two Styles; Inside the Dallas Diocese, Workers Sense Tension at the Top."

For a compelling overview of Grahmann’s tenure, see "Showdown in Dallas: An Open Conflict between Two Bishops Has Helped to Expose Deeper Problems in a Troubled Diocese."


Sipe Report - Preliminary Expert Report by A. W. Richard Sipe, prepared on behalf of the plaintiffs in the 1997 Rudy Kos liability trial. Includes rare overview of medical profession’s role in the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

Doyle Memo - The 1996 memo by the Rev. Tom Doyle, filed on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Kos liability trial. Includes a look at the role of the national bishops’ conference in concealing clergy sexual abuse. Posted here in two parts {1} {2}. Part two contains Doyle's analysis of the Peebles, Hughes, and Kos cases.

Grahmann Testimony - Bishop Grahmann’s June 1997 testimony in the Kos liability trial.
* Direct Examination by Plaintiffs' Lawyer Turley (in three parts) {1} {2} {3}
* Cross Examination by Plaintiffs' Lawyer Demarest (in two parts) {4} {5}
* Cross Examination by Defendant's Lawyer Mathis and Redirect by Turley {6}
* Various Cross, Redirect, and Recross Examinations {7}
See also a commentary on the testimony by Mr. Bill Betzen, with links to key passages.

Final Judgment - The final judgment on jury’s huge award, by Anne Ashby, presiding judge in Kos liability trial.

Sharpe Documents - Documents from the legal battle of citizen Frank Sharpe to retrieve from locked storage an enormous volume of church documents that he had scavenged from the diocese dumpster and turned over to plaintiffs' attorney Windle Turley.

Turley Documents - Includes the 1998 statement by plaintiffs' attorney Windle Turley, after his eight clients reached final settlement with the diocese in the Kos liability trial. See also the excerpts from Turley's closing argument and the trial timeline.

Grahmann Apology - Bishop Grahmann’s apology to Kos victims

Dallas Policy - Policy of Sexual Misconduct for the Diocese of Dallas.

Campaign for Grahmann's Resignation - Materials about the call for Grahmann’s resignation by the Committee of Concerned Catholics, including an op-ed piece entitled "Opinion: How Can A Bishop Be Replaced? Please, Bishop Grahmann, It Is Time To Step Down," a letter to the papal nuncio, and a background article "Web Site Targets Bishop; Grahmann's Critics Urge Other Catholics to Join Call for Resignation". The group's Web site, which offers an on-line petition for Grahmann's resignation, is

Pro-Grahmann Campaign - Materials about a pro-Grahmann petition drive, organized in response to the campaign for his resignation. The materials include editorials critical of the anti-Grahmann organizers ("Defending Church by Attacking the Bishop?" and "The Expert That Isn't") and a report on the pro-Grahmann petition drive "Bishop Garners Support; About 12,000 Petition to Keep Grahmann; Critics Undeterred.". The Web site of the pro-Grahmann campaign is

Questions for Bishop Grahmann from We Are the Church, an organization of Dallas Catholics.

Web Sites - useful sources of information and commentary
* Diocese of Dallas including The Truth, containing official responses to media reports
* History of the Diocese of Dallas with statistics, from the amazing
* Dallas Morning News and their feature on the church crisis
* Texas Catholic, the official newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, including the editorials of Bronson Havard
* We Are the Church including a remarkable 3,000-page selection from the court transcript of the Kos liability trial
* Committee of Concerned Catholics (campaign for Grahmann's resignation)
* Pro-Grahmann Message Campaign
* D Magazine's commentary on the resignation controversy, with links


* Editorials and Opinions - Comments on the sexual abuse crisis in the Dallas diocese, from 1997 to 2003
* February 1997 - Diocese tries to disqualify some plaintiffs in upcoming Kos trial on grounds that the statute of limitations has lapsed
* March 1997 - The judge rebuffs the diocese and includes all plaintiffs
* May 1997 - Rudy Kos liability trial begins ... 11 victims charge diocese with negligence ... diocese kept Kos in parishes for years despite repeated warnings ... ... priest kept log of boys’ visits to Kos’s bedroom ... interview with Kos
* June 1-18, 1997 - More on Kos trial ... Fr. Tom Doyle testifies ... doctor: Grahmann cancelled Kos’ pedophilia test ... wrenching testimony by victims ... diocese failed to act on other accused priests.
* June 19-30, 1997 - Mother: Kos gave homily at funeral of 21-year-old suicide who he abused … victim denies church doctor’s claim that he “wanted it” … mother says church ignored girl’s abuse … ‘”willful blindness”
* July 1-21, 1997 - Diocese spent $200,000 to re-settle Kos ... Grahmann testifies ... Testimony by witnesses supporting diocese ... Trial closes
* July 22-31, 1997 - Jury awards 11 plaintiffs $119.6 million ... diocese found guilty of fraud, conspiracy, gross negligence ... jurors’ unusual statement to church: ‘Please admit your guilt.’
* August 1997 - Former bishop Tschoepe, reported to be too ill to testify at trial, discovered working in parish in apparent good health … victims’ parents partly to blame for abuse, says former #2 diocesan official ... Brooks Egerton case study: how bishops cooperate to hide pedophiles
* September 1997 - Good overview of Kos liability trial ...William F. Buckley: Bishops should resign
* October 1997 - Woman gets top diocesan post ...diocese fights $119.6 million judgment ...12th Kos victim ... new Church attorney: Jury went “ballistic”... Kos returns to Dallas
* November 1997 - Kos indicted on criminal charges ... Grahmann names woman to head Catholic Charities ... diocese seeks to protect assets
* December 1997 - Possible conflicts of interest among judges involved in the Kos case
* January-February 1998 - Judge formally approves nearly all of $119.6 million judgment attorney forsees financial ‘train wreck’ for diocese ... judge orders both sides into mediation
- Diocese settles cases against abusive priests Peebles and Hughes ... still negotiating final Kos liability payment
* March 1998 - 3 of 11 plaintiffs in liability trial settle … Kos criminal trial begins … surprise guilty pleas by Kos to three of eight charges … jury convicts Kos on seven counts
* April-May 1998 - Kos gets life term ... Kos in interview: Church ‘hung me out to dry’
- Eight of 11 plaintiffs in liability case still negotiating final payout
* July 1998 - Eight remaining plaintiffs finally settle with Church ... $119.6 million judgement is reduced by 3/4 ... Pope defrocks Kos
* August-December 1998 - Former number two in diocese to head church in AR ... to pay Kos settlement, diocese will sell church beloved by Mexican Americans
- Mexican Americans seek to make church a landmark ... national Linkup conference in Dallas
- Accused priest Jose Saldana enters treatment center
- Accused priest Kenneth Roberts, nationally known multimedia star, refused order to stop public ministry ... AOL pulls Roberts from online service
- Dallas diocese grows 9% in 1998 ... churches of different faiths join to demand sex abuse coverage by insurance companies
* January-June 1999 - Controversial diocesan effort to sell church prized by Mexican-American community ... priest jailed for molesting girl ... dire shortage of priests
* July-December 1999 - Abuse case against Robert Peebles dismissed ... Dallas priest gets five-year sentence ... arrival of new coadjutor Galante, Pope’s chosen successor to Grahmann
* 2000 - Jury in Kos liability case was example of “new activist jury” trend ... diocese sells building prized by Mexican Americans
* 2001 - Rapid growth of Dallas diocese
* March 2002 - Grahmann speaks about clergy sexual abuse during Holy Week services
* April 2002 - Dallas abuse policy seen as ‘model’... priest removed for not doing background checks on parish staff ... Grahmann: Allegations of bishop cover-ups are “a bunch of bull”... second priest removed for not doing background checks ... Rod Dreher looks at Church’s “legal games” … removed priest and parishioners fight back
* May 2002 - Meeting of bishops from TX, OK, AR ... admitted molester still in good standing ... ordinary Catholics sound off
* June 2002 - Shaken U.S. bishops meet in Dallas to craft new national sex abuse policy ... tension persists between Grahmann and co-adjutor ... groundbreaking Dallas Morning News investigation: 2/3 of bishops enabled abusers ... accountability dilemma with foreign-born priests who abuse … Dallas diocesan policy serves as national blueprint
* July 2002 - Priest leaves parish after posting message on gay priests’ Web site
* August 2002 - Grahmann and co-adjutor Galante call meeting of priests to discuss new national charter … Dallas priest accused of raping nun
* October 2002 - Former pedophile priest in Dallas now attorney in New Orleans
* November 2002 - Co-adjustor Galante says he can’t persuade Grahmann to remove accused groper as head priest of Cathedral
* January 2003 - Investigative report: non-profit of accused priest, Justin Lucio, costs poor immigrants, enriches priest and associates ... Grahmann kept Lucio in ministry after allegations ... influential laymen reveal 1997 resignation deal with Grahmann
* February 2003 - Wick Allison on deal with Grahmann ... protests call for Grahmann to resign
* March 2003 - Rev. Richard T. Brown still working as priest, even though diocese believes he abused girl
* May 2003 - Tension between co-adjutor, bishop ... editorial by church spokesman ... Grahmann reinstated priest accused of rape ... angry parishioners ... overview of Dallas clergy sexual abuse cases
* June 2003 - Accused rapist priest resigns ... national overview of Church sex abuse policies … influential lay group calls for Grahmann resignation
* July 2003 - AG lets Lucio’s non-profits stay open ... Grahmann supporters organize ... Rod Dreher looks at “troubled diocese”
* August 2003 - 12,000 sign pro-Grahmann petition
* September-November 2003 - Accused of sexual abuse and financial misdealings, Lucio defies Grahmann, won’t stop saying Mass ... reformer at Lucio’s non-profit resigns

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