The Diocese of Corpus Christi has announced that it will release a complete list of names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children next week. All 14 other Texas dioceses are expected to do the same.
In October, the Texas Catholic Bishops joined bishops across the country announcing plans to release complete lists of priests and clergy members with credible accusations of sexual child abuse levied against them. The lists will date back to the 1950s.
Diocese across the nation have enlisted the help of former law enforcement officials, including former police officers and FBI agents, to ensure their lists are complete and free of bias.
To date, about 70 of the 145 U.S. dioceses have released lists of accused predator priests with BishopAccountability compiling a master list including an alarming 3,883 names of accused church members with credibly accused of sexual abusing minors. However, the final number may be even more devastating with U.S. bishops saying they have counted 6,721 credibly accused bishops, priests, and seminarians.
The Diocese of Corpus Christi’s Director of Communications Margie Rivera informed KRIS 6 News this week that the Corpus Christi Diocese plans to meet its end of the month deadline to release the names.
BishopAccountability, a non-profit that seeks to document abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, found that as of August 2018, the Catholic Church alone had paid nearly $4 billion over sexual abuse claims. The largest known payout amounted over $600 million dollars and was issued on behalf of 221 priests and church employees accused of abusing and victimizing more than 500 people.
According to BishopAccountability, more than 5,679 persons alleging sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy have received settlements.
Thomas J. Henry’s firm is one of the largest plaintiffs’ firms in the country. The firm currently houses more than 135 attorneys and 350 supporting staff in eight office locations across Texas in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin, El Paso, and Houston.
We are leaders in the field of personal injury and have helped countless child abuse and child injury victims. The firm has taken on numerous cases dealing with child abuse and molestation against individuals, day cares, businesses, schools, and organizations, including several against the Catholic Church.
In 2016, Thomas J. Henry pursued a high profile case against the Archdiocese of San Antonio and now-deceased San Antonio clergy member Father Virgilio Elizondo. The lawsuit alleged Elizondo had sexually abused a young boy for years. Elizondo took his own life in March 2016 before he could be deposed.
Over the years, the firm’s founder, Thomas J. Henry, has donated to hundreds of children’s charities throughout the United States. In 2015, the Henry family partnered with ChildSafe, a San Antonio area organization that provides services to children and teenagers who have been traumatized by abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. He provided the largest donation the organization has ever received.
In 2014, Thomas J. Henry publicly backed Nico LaHood in the hotly contested race for San Antonio District Attorney. LaHood ran on the platform of keeping children safe from physical and sexual abuse. Thomas J. Henry donated more than $1 million to his campaign.