Texas Diocese Asks Court to Toss Libel Suit Over List of Accused Abusers

Courthouse News Service

January 6, 2021

By Cameron Langford

The Catholic Diocese of Lubbock urged the Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought by a former deacon who claims it falsely outed him as a child molester.

Texas Catholic bishops say the case threatens to uproot tenants of church autonomy enshrined in the First Amendment and open churches up to crippling liability simply for following their principles.

Jesus Guerrero said he was “shocked, confused, hurt and I knew that it wasn’t true” when the diocese published a list of clergy it said had been “credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor” in January 2019 and his name was on it, according to his brief with the state high court.

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