Nearly 300 priests and clergy in Texas accused of sex abuse over decades

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ABC News(LAREDO, Texas) -- Nearly 300 priests and clergy members of the Catholic dioceses in Texas were identified for alleged sexual abuse of minors.

In total, 14 archdioceses and dioceses in Texas released their lists on Tuesday, making them the latest in a string of disclosures by Catholic Church bodies across the country. The Diocese of Laredo announced that there were no credible accusations in its region.

All of the lists name the accused priests and clergy members as well as their assignments, but they differed in the amount details they disclosed about the alleged abuses, the timing of the abuse and whether they resulted in any disciplinary action.

For example, The Diocese of Amarillo, which detailed the accusations against its priests, noted that one priest was the subject of 16 allegations.

Gustavo Garcia-Siller, the archbishop of San Antonio, said that the "allegations of clerical sexual misconduct and mishandling of some of these cases by bishops are tearing the Church apart."

An official from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston noted that there were a total of 278 individuals with credible accusations included on the lists, but that it might seem like more because some names were included twice as those people moved between dioceses.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who leads the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and serves as the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a lengthy statement calling the release of the names "right and just."

"Our Church has been lacerated by this wound and we must take action to heal it," DiNardo wrote in the letter.

"These sins have done great harm to the victims of the abuse and have deeply wounded the body of Christ, the Church. Those victimized by clergy over the years need and deserve our prayers, outreach, and support," DiNardo wrote.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) released a statement in which it said that naming the priests and clergy members was “at least one small step." However, it also said it was “concerned that these lists might not be as transparent as promised.”

The lists included all accused officials whose allegations were found to be credible but did not name others who had been accused. Here is a breakdown of the 14 regions that reported credible cases of abuse:

-The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston listed 42 priests credibly accused since 1950, including one whose recent allegations are currently under investigation. Its list did not include dates of the alleged abuses or when they were reported.

-The Archdiocese of San Antonio named 57 priests whose alleged abuses dated back to 1941. Two priests — one alive and one deceased — who are the subject of active investigations were not included on its list.

-The Diocese of Austin listed 22 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse. The list did not include dates of the alleged abuses or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of Amarillo listed 30 priests credibly accused since 1950. The list did not include dates of the alleged abuses or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of Beaumont listed 13 priests. The list did not include dates of alleged abuses or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of Brownsville listed 14 individuals credibly accused since 1965. The list did not include dates of alleged abuses or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of Corpus Christi listed 26 priests. The list did not include dates for the alleged abuses or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of Dallas listed 31 priests since 1950. The list did not include dates of the alleged abuses or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of El Paso listed 30 priests credibly accused since 1950. The list did not include dates of the alleged abuses or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of Fort Worth listed 17 priests accused of wrongdoing since 1969. The list did not include dates of the alleged abuse or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of Lubbock listed five priests credibly accused since it was created in 1983. The list did not include dates of the alleged abuse or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of Tyler listed one priest credibly accused since 1987. The list did not include dates of the alleged abuse or when it was reported.

-The Diocese of Victoria listed three priests credibly accused of sexual abuse. The list did not include dates of the alleged abuses or when they were reported.

-The Diocese of San Angelo listed 13 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse since it was created in 1961. The list did not include dates of the alleged abuses or when they were reported.

There are now at least 16 jurisdictions across the country that have launched investigations into clerical sex abuse following the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing the alleged cover-up of decades of abuse by hundreds of Catholic priests. There is no active investigation in Texas and the state's Attorney General told ABC News that it stands ready to assist local prosecutors if any requests are made.

There are ongoing investigations in Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and the District of Columbia, as well as with the Archdiocese of Anchorage in Alaska. Spokespeople for several other attorneys general offices told ABC News that their offices were reviewing options and considering taking similar actions.

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