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Lubbock Bishop's remarks on clergy accused of sexual abuse

Bishop Robert Coerver
By Bishop Robert Coerver

I regret that I am out of the country on a long-planned vacation overseas on this date chosen for the release of names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in the Diocese of Lubbock. Because we are a relatively young diocese, founded only in 1983, our list of offenders is –understandably and fortunately— relatively short.

Because the territory of the current Diocese of Lubbock contains counties formerly part of either the Diocese of Amarillo or the Diocese of San Angelo, there will be some names of offending clergy who served in what is now territory of the Lubbock diocese released by those dioceses.

The release of these names—which is occurring in all the dioceses of Texas— is a good-faith effort on the part of the Bishops of Texas to increase transparency and help to restore some confidence among the ranks of the Faithful, that the administrations of our dioceses are serious about ending the cycle of abuse in the Church and in society at large, which has been allowed to exist for decades.

The scourge of abuse must be stopped!

I realize that this release of names will be a source of pain for victims, survivors, and their families. I realize that this might also be occasion for more victims to come forward and to be appropriately ministered to.

We continue to pray for victims and survivors of abuse of any kind and especially for those families whose trust in the Church has been broken.

If you or any member of your family or anyone you know has been abused by anyone acting in the name of the Catholic Church, especially by members of the clergy, please encourage them to report that abuse to the Victims Assistance Coordinator of the diocese where they are living.

If that is the Diocese of Lubbock, the Victims Assistance Coordinator is Mr. Oscar Reyes, who can be contacted at (806) 543-9178 and contact local law enforcement authorities.

Though I am out of the country, do know that I carry with me in my heart the concerns of all victims and survivors of abuse and members of their families. I also carry with me the pain and scandal this brings upon the entire Church.

One consolation that we can derive from this scandal is that the cycle of abuse might finally be broken.

While I am physically far away at this time, please know that I am very close to you in thought and prayer at this time.

Let us approach the future filled with hope, maintaining principles of reparation, justice, mercy, and compassion. Christ the Healer is walking this journey with us; we are notabandoned!

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