Catholic leaders in Texas on Thursday identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children, a number that represents one of the largest collections of names to be released since an explosive grand jury report last year in Pennsylvania, the AP reports. Fourteen dioceses in Texas named those credibly accused of abuse. The only diocese not to provide names, Fort Worth, did so more than a decade ago and then provided an updated accounting in October. There are only a handful of states where every diocese has released names and most of them have only one or two Catholic districts. Arkansas, for instance, is covered by the Diocese of Little Rock, which in September provided a preliminary list of 12 former priests, deacons, and others.
The move by Texas church leaders follows a shocking Pennsylvania report in August detailing seven decades of child sexual abuse by more than 300 predator priests. The Diocese of Dallas and some others relied on retired police and federal investigators to review church files and other material to substantiate claims of abuse. It's not clear whether any of the names released Thursday could result in local prosecutors bringing criminal charges. The majority of those identified have since died. Some investigations dated back to 1950 while other reviews, as in the case of the Diocese of Laredo, only went to 2000 because that's when that diocese was established. Of the 286 men named in Texas, 172 have died, a percentage comparable with the national tally. Click for the full story. (The Vatican insisted that US bishops delay a sex-abuse vote.)