The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lubbock Plans to Release Names of Accused Priests
By Mari Salazar
October 10, 2018
Lubbock, TX - The Catholic Diocese of Texas plans to release names of priests accused of sexual abuse on January 31, 2019. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lubbock plans to release names, as well. The Bishop of Lubbock said they want to restore trust in the church and protect children from crime.
Bishop Robert Coerver said they want to provide a safe place for everyone and the first step is to be transparent and help the victims through the healing process.
"That trust has been damaged especially through the events of this summer that have been widely publicized," said Coerver.
There are more than 1,000 Catholic parishes in Texas and each one of those will be investigated. The church is reviewing any accusation against a priest, not only involving minors.
"We're going to have outside people come in and go through our files just to make sure that we've got all of the names and all of the circumstances so that when it comes time to publish we'll be as thorough as we possibly can be," Coerver explains.
In Lubbock, some of the cases date back as far as 1983. Coerver said those "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of minors are not serving in the ministry.
"And if we find that they are..which I don't believe they are they would be removed form ministry immediately and further investigation would be done, but I don't think we're going to find that," Coerver said.
Over at the Voice of Hope, 38% of the victims they meet with are minors and they want whoever impacted by sexual assault to know there's always help.
"There will be people that would believe you. We will help you and we will try to get you on the road to healing," said Leslie Timmons, Voice of Hope Community Educator.
Coerver stresses they're praying for the victims and survivors of abuse of any kind. They pray especially for those families whose trust in the church has been broken.
"Those four words. Justice, Reparation, Mercy and Compassion. I would consider those the four key words I hold very dear in trying to work our way out of this crisis as a church," said Coerver.