Clergy Abuse Survivors Group 'Applauds' Catholic Diocese of Dallas Raid - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Clergy Abuse Survivors Group 'Applauds' Catholic Diocese of Dallas Raid

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    Abuse Survivors Group 'Applauds' Catholic Diocese Raid

    Survivors of clergy abuse voiced appreciation Wednesday after the Dallas Police Department executed search warrants on three Catholic Diocese of Dallas properties Wednesday. (Published Wednesday, May 15, 2019)

    When Monica Baez saw news of the police raid on the Catholic Diocese of Dallas she had a thought.

    "Oh, another one," Baez said. "It's overwhelming."

    Baez said she was a toddler in the 1970s when she first became a victim of clergy abuse. Her alleged abuser was not in Dallas, but part of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. 

    "It was awful. He was a monster," Baez said. "I knew that it was something wrong because it was painful. He forced... it was child rape. I call it child rape. I call it was it is."

    Baez said she was glad to see police outside three Diocese of Dallas properties Wednesday morning, where they executed search warrants looking for records of sexual abuse related to five priests.

    "Because who's protecting the children? How can an institution tell on itself? They're not," Baez said. "It is unbelievable how it's still happening."

    Baez said she thought similar raids should be conducted globally. 

    The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) issued a statement Wednesday about the Dallas raid. 

    “We applaud Texas law enforcement officials for raiding the “secret archives” of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. 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.

    While the Diocese of Dallas released a list of publicly accused priests back in January, we suspected that the list was incomplete and have police and prosecutors to investigate further. As we have seen in places like Buffalo, Pennsylvania and Illinois, Catholic dioceses have not consistently been forthright in disclosing full lists of credibly accused priests, nor providing information about the church officials who covered-up their crimes.

    We hope that 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.

    Institutions cannot police themselves and it is only through strong action from law enforcement that the full truth of their scandals can be revealed. 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.”

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