INCENSE AND MIRRORS

Dallas Catholic Diocese Raided as Police Accuse Church Officials of Withholding Information in Sex-Abuse Probe

Dallas police raided several Dallas Catholic Diocese offices on Wednesday after a detective alleged church officials are not cooperating with investigations into sexual abuse by past clergy members. “To date, the Dallas Police Department has not been given the number of priests’ files flagged for sexual abuse,” states the affidavit. As the Catholic Church reckons with an international sexual-abuse crisis, the Catholic Dioceses in Texas hired a team of former law enforcement investigators to comb through its files to compile the list of names. However, police say they were not allowed to talk to any of the diocese’s investigators and believe its officials were withholding information, according to the affidavit.

At the center of the affidavit is the revelation that a longtime pastor at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Oak Cliff, Texas, was credibly accused of molesting three teenage boys in the parish over a decade ago. When the detective reached out to the church, diocese attorneys told him the diocese and victims were in the “monetary settlement process.” The attorney also told the detective “he believed the victims did not want to pursue criminal allegations,” according to the affidavit. Police believe more priests’ files contain information “indicative of criminal behavior,” but say files are being kept from investigators.