Catholic leaders in Texas announced that they will publish the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor from 1950 forward.
Bishop Joe S. Váquez, Diocese of Austin, made the announcement along with 15 Texas bishops. Vásquez says the names will be published by Jan. 31, 2019.
"My hope in releasing these names is to be transparent and begin to rebuild trust with the people I shepherd," Vásquez said. "This is only one action in response to this crisis in our church. As the Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, I am committed to protecting children from any abuse. Indeed, this is what Christ expects from me and all who serve His people."
The decision was made in the context of the bishops' ongoing work to protect children from sexual abuse and their efforts to promote healing and a restoration of trust in the Catholic Church.
On Monday, Vásquez asked priests to join him in celebrating a Mass of Reparation and for every Catholic in the Dioceses of Austin to pray a novena for all victims of sexual abuse by clergy.
"I am most concerned for the victims who suffered abuse at the hands of clergy, and I ask their forgiveness. I continue to pray for their healing and well-being," Vásquez said during the Mass of Reparation at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin.
Each bishop will release their own statement and list of clergy credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor.
"This is an action in response to the faithful’s call for greater accountability and transparency," said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston. "Every bishop in our state has made a statement expressing his concern for all who have been hurt and I want to express my personal sorrow at such fundamental violations of trust that have happened. We are completely committed to eradicating the evil of sexual abuse in the church and promoting healing among the faithful and those injured by this crime.”
There are 8.5 million Catholics and 1,320 Catholic parishes in Texas.
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