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Catholics react to list of clergy accused of abuse in Texas

Posted at 8:21 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 11:03:07-05

Catholic diocese across Texas released the names of priests who abused parishioners, and what happened to those priests on Thursday.

For many, it's the first time anyone could learn just how pervasive the problem of sexual abuse had become in the Catholic church in Texas.

In his announcement, Archbishop of San Antonio Gustavo Garcia-Siller spoke of a bitter wind sweeping through the Catholic church causing turmoil, confusion and anger.

"Allegations of critical sexual misconduct, the mishandling of some of these cases by bishops, are tearing the church apart," said Archbishop Garcia-Siller.

At the same time, the Austin Diocese released a list of priests who were accused of sexual abuse, 14 of which served in churches in our part of Central Texas.

Almost all had either passed away or were removed from the church in recent years.

Survivors of abuse by priests called Thursday's release "incomplete."

"The church needs to reach out to every parish to every community to every victim and offer comfort and support and help. It's not enough just to release names,” said Tim Lennon, the President of SNAP. 

They wanted to know more about when the allegations were first made and the actions the church took.

Meantime, Archbishop Garcia-Siller said the church should bring people to God, not destroy them.

"The challenge for us as a church is to renew our commitment to holiness and justice,” he said.

He added the church has put safety measures to make sure abuse never happens again.

A representative of SNAP out of Austin told us he's grateful that the list is out, and he hopes the Attorney General of Texas will investigate and that Texas lawmakers will remove the statute of limitations on abuse by clergy of all religions.

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