Police Raid Dallas Catholic Diocese Offices
Dallas Morning News
May 15, 2019
Dallas police officers on Wednesday morning executed a search warrant at the Dallas Catholic Diocese's offices in Oak Lawn.
Police have not specified a reason for the raid, but said they'd give more information at an 11 a.m. news conference. A police spokesman said warrants will be executed at various diocese offices throughout Dallas.
The Dallas diocese on Wednesday did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The raids come as the Catholic Church locally and worldwide continues to deal with its sex abuse crisis and allegations of cover-ups. As part of a transparency effort, all Catholic dioceses in Texas —including Dallas — in January published lists of clergy members "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of minors since 1950.
Dallas Catholic Diocese officials said they had a team of former law enforcement investigators comb through its files to compile the list of 31 names.
That announcement followed the August revelation that Edmundo Paredes, the longtime pastor at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Oak Cliff, was credibly accused of molesting three teenage boys in the parish over a decade ago. Diocese officials said Paredes also allegedly stole from the church.
The Dallas diocese confirmed it had reached a financial settlement with the three male accusers, the details of which were confidential.
But in January, Dallas police — which assigned Detective David Clark to investigate sex-abuse allegations against Dallas clergy members — issued an arrest warrant for the former Oak Cliff priest after a new accuser emerged.
Paredes had gone missing, but it was believed he had fled to his native country of the Philippines, Burns told parishioners during services at St. Cecilia.
Church officials have in recent months called for potential victims to first contact police and have said they are cooperating with law enforcement investigations. But advocates for sex-abuse victims have remained skeptical of the church, which has had a long history of cover-ups.
After Wednesday's raid, advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, released a statement saying they "applaud Texas law enforcement officials" for the raid.