January 31, 2019
By Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
We are still weeks away from Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season, and yet this week like so many I am overwhelmed with thoughts and prayers of contrition as, together with the other Catholic Dioceses in Texas, we will release a list of clergy dating back to 1950 who have been credibly accused of abusing minors.
I very much appreciate this opportunity to tell you why we are releasing this list, how the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston compiled it, and where we go from here.
First, we are releasing this list because we recognize the great and lasting harm done by persons who were supposed to represent Christ to the world, but instead committed the most heinous acts against the most vulnerable people in our society — our youth. I can assure you the genuine shame, embarrassment and outrage that accompany this week’s announcements across Texas are superseded only by the determination we collectively feel to assist victims of these acts of evil to begin or continue the healing process.
To anyone who has been personally affected by this crisis, or their families, I apologize most sincerely. I furthermore understand the anger and frustration you may harbor in your hearts concerning the perpetrators of abuse; or those who in the past may have concealed or ignored such unthinkable behavior; or even those in positions of authority today — yours truly included — who are doing our best however imperfectly to rebuild the trust of the faithful. It is my most fervent prayer that whatever pain was caused would not make you sever your relationship with the Lord, for the Lord — not man — is the truest source of hope and joy in our lives. I implore you not to let any darkness overtake the light in your life.
Let me add: we are also releasing this list because we want anyone with any additional information about any abuse of a minor that may have taken place in this Archdiocese to notify the civil authorities immediately. I recognize and indeed admire the courage required to step forward and share such traumatic experiences, but it is critical that the civil authorities are made aware of any allegations of abuse so as to protect our children.
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