Investigators who were “thwarted” during earlier investigations of child sexual abuse by priests on Wednesday searched the offices of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas to obtain evidence of sexual misconduct, according to a police commander and police records.
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Texas, tried to thwart police investigations into sexual misconduct of accused pedophile priests, and for awhile their stalling tactics worked pretty good. Right up until yesterday when police conducted a surprise raid on the church facilities and were able obtain the ‘secret files’ on the accused priests that the diocese had hidden.
“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Revelation 17:6 (KJV)
The real crime in all this is not only the fact that these thousands of Catholic pedophile priests raped and molested children, but that at the highest levels in the Vatican orders were issued to cover it up and pretend it wasn’t happening. There is seemingly no end in sight to the abuse of children by Catholic priests both in America and around the world.
Police execute search warrant at Catholic Diocese of Dallas
FROM AP: Investigators searched the diocesan headquarters, a storage unit it uses and the offices of a church, police Maj. Max Geron told reporters. “We believe at this point that the execution of the search warrants was wholly appropriate for the furtherance of the investigation at this point,” Geron said.
The events began last August with the investigation of Edmundo Paredes , a former priest who is believed to have fled Texas following claims that he abused three teenagers. That investigation resulted in allegations of abuse by others, Geron said.
Copies of the warrants refer to the 70-year-old Paredes and four others. All five were named in a report released in January by the diocese that identified former priests credibly accused of sexually assaulting a child.
Paredes is suspended from the diocese; the other four are suspended, on leave, retired or removed from the ministry.
Police Detective David Clark in an affidavit supporting the warrants described a diocese that wasn’t forthcoming with critical files and relied on personnel to identify predatory behavior when they had no background or training to do so.
Investigators in a meeting with diocesan attorneys in January requested the number of priests’ files that were flagged for sexual abuse, Clark wrote in the affidavit. But the attorneys wouldn’t provide the number, arguing that it was “privileged” information.
Clark later wrote that he was given incomplete and inaccurate files, despite “assurances” to the contrary from priests and church lawyers. The detective said his efforts to obtain records that likely contained information on the alleged sexual abuse of children “were thwarted.”
Bishop Edward Burns brushed aside the claim Wednesday that his diocese stymied efforts to obtain files on clerical abuse, saying church officials are being as transparent as possible.
“I stand confident that as the bishop of the Diocese of Dallas that we are doing this right,” Burns said during a press conference. “We’re doing everything possible to create a safe environment.”
Burns also said a retired FBI agent who the diocese brought in to review its files told him the affidavit and search warrants were rife with errors. He did not name the former agent.
The group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, released a statement commending police with raiding the “secret archives” of the diocese.
“Institutions cannot police themselves and it is only through strong action from law enforcement that the full truth of their scandals can be revealed,” the statement said. “We applaud the move and hope that it will inspire others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Texas to make a report to law enforcement officials immediately.”
The Dallas diocese was ground zero for the nation’s clergy sex-abuse crisis more than two decades ago. READ MORE
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