Law Enforcement Raids The Offices Of The Dallas Catholic Diocese
On Wednesday morning, Dallas police officers searched offices belonging to the Dallas Catholic Diocese in Oak Lawn on a search warrant, local news outlet Dallas News reports.
Officials did not give a specific reason for the search but expressed intent to reveal more details later on Wednesday. According to a police spokesman, more warrant-authorized search raids will be executed at other diocese offices in Dallas soon.
The Dallas diocese did not return requests for comment.
The raids in Dallas come as the Catholic Church is under international scrutiny for cases of sexual abuse and alleged cover-up attempts. In an effort to promote transparency, all Texas Catholic dioceses, including those in Dallas, published in January the names of clergy members “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors from the past roughly 70 years.
Officials for the Dallas Catholic Diocese said earlier that they were working with a team of former law enforcement officials to create the list of 31 individuals.
Advocacy organization Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) praised law enforcement officials after the raid on Wednesday.
"We are glad that police and prosecutors are taking the issue of clergy abuse in Texas seriously and are not just relying on the promises of church officials," they said.
The group hopes “this raid today sheds more light on the clergy abuse scandal as it relates to the Diocese of Dallas and will uncover the full truth of who knew what, when they knew it, and what steps church officials took in response to allegations of sexual abuse."