In 2019, the 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas have promised that they will release the names of priests who have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of a minor from 1950 on. The move was announced by Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. The Church indicated that the bishops from the 15 Texas dioceses decided on September 30 to release the lists of names by January 31, 2019 as part of their effort “to protect children from sexual abuse.” One might argue that the priestly cows already left the barn while the Church was holding open the barn doors and even directing them to the next pasture where they could graze on unsuspecting Catholic youth. Still, Red encourages any move in a positive direction towards further exposure of this horrific scandal that has eaten away at the very soul of the Church. Priests need to know that there is now nowhere to hide and that as Dostoyevsky put it “the path to redemption leads through confession.” But this confession needs to be in the public square not hidden in the confessional. It will not heal the wounded, but it needs to be done.
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