Religious groups voice support for Lubbock diocese in defamation suit

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

June 18, 2020

By Gabriel Monte

Religious groups are decrying a Texas appellate court ruling that allows a former deacon to sue the Catholic diocese in Lubbock saying the decision could infringe upon religious liberty protected by the First Amendment.

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, The Baptist General Convention of Texas, The Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty, and the Texas Legislature have filed amicus curiae briefs in the Texas Supreme Court supporting the Catholic Diocese of Lubbock in its quest to dismiss a former deacon’s defamation lawsuit.

The briefs are in response to the January 2019 defamation lawsuit filed in the 237th District Court by Jesus Guerrero, a former deacon at Our Lady of Grace, after the Lubbock Catholic Diocese included him in a list of five clergymen deemed to have a credible allegation of sexual abuse against minors.

Along with posting the list online, the Catholic diocese issued a news release to local news media, including the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, that stated the decision to release the names was part of an ongoing effort to protect children from sexual abuse.

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