(CNN)Dallas police searched the headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas and other properties Wednesday as portion of the church’s widening sex abuse scandal, police and church officers mentioned.
Maj. Max Geron of the particular investigations division mentioned the raids are connected to 5 recent allegations of sexual abuse that emerged after police issued an arrest warrant for a priest named Edmundo Paredes, who turned into as soon as previously assigned to St. Cecilia’s Parish in Dallas.
Dallas authorities mentioned they possess about Paredes a fugitive.
The parish turned into as soon as one amongst the places searched Wednesday, alongside with the diocese headquarters and a storage facility, Geron mentioned.
“Besides to to the allegations towards Mr. Paredes, detectives are investigating a minimal of 5 extra allegations of miniature one abuse towards other suspects,” Geron suggested journalists.
“These investigations stem from extra allegations made after the case towards Mr. Paredes grew to was public.”
Geron mentioned police possess been searching for to receive “any documentation, any files that would are inclined to extra the investigation into these allegations of miniature one abuse.”
In August, the diocese suggested parishioners at St. Cecilia of allegations of sexual abuse by Paredes, the earlier pastor. The alleged criminal offenses befell better than a decade within the past, church officers mentioned.
The raid comes as the church — each and every within the US and all the design in the course of the sector — wrestles with a recent wave of scandals which possess spurred criminal investigations, roiled the devoted and damaged the institution’s lawful credibility.
The raids took the diocese without warning since church officers possess been cooperating with authorities for months, in step with Catholic Diocese of Dallas spokeswoman Annette Gonzales Taylor.
“We indubitably feel like we possess been being clear,” Gonzales Taylor suggested CNN.
The diocese turned into as soon as now not subpoenaed, she mentioned.
The watchdog community Survivors Network of These Abused by Monks praised Wednesday’s searches as a imprint “police and prosecutors are taking the problem of clergy abuse in Texas seriously and are now not merely counting on the ensures of church officers.”
“We hope that this raid today sheds more gentle on the clergy abuse scandal because it pertains to the Diocese of Dallas and will expose the paunchy truth of who knew what, after they knew it, and what steps church officers took in accordance with allegations of sexual abuse,” the community’s commentary mentioned.
The search warrants possess been achieved at a quantity of properties Wednesday, including the pastoral heart and administrative offices, Gonzales Taylor mentioned.
Gonzales Taylor mentioned police possess been searching for to receive files of monks who possess been on a record the diocese released this one year of clergy who had been the topic of credible accusations.
Dallas church officers possess mentioned they alerted law enforcement final one year of allegations from three adults who mentioned Paredes sexually abused them after they possess been of their mid-children. The allegations possess been chanced on to be credible, the church mentioned.
The Dallas diocese suspended Paredes, and he is now not any longer allowed to operate as a priest, the church mentioned.
“With the utmost sensitivity to victims, I truly possess pledged to proceed efforts of transparency and must create you responsive to this rotten and unhappy tournament,” Bishop Edward Burns suggested St. Cecilia’s parishioners in August.
Not lower than 298 clergy people all the design in the course of the instruct possess faced “credible abuse” allegations going befriend to the 1940s, in step with the lists compiled by the 15 Texas dioceses.
Leading the resolution of clergy people accused is the Archdiocese of San Antonio — the largest one within the instruct — with 56 monks and other clergy listed. Next is the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the dioceses of Dallas, El Paso and Amarillo.
Texas church leaders and the Private Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter agreed to title those accused in October as portion of an effort “to promote healing and a restoration of have faith within the Catholic Church.”
Advocates for survivors of sexual abuse take into consideration the self-reported lists unreliable and incomplete. The lists attach now not detail when accusations possess been made, where the abuse befell or what turned into as soon as done after an accusation turned into as soon as made.
Bigger than 13 states possess launched investigations into sex abuse within the Catholic Church.
The investigations adopted final one year’s damning yarn by a broad jury in Pennsylvania that accused better than 300 “predator monks” of sexually abusing better than 1,000 children in six dioceses since 1947. Nearly all of cases befell before Catholic bishops within the US instituted recent miniature one safety protocols.
There are 8.5 million Catholics and 1,320 Catholic parishes in Texas, in step with the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops.
Within the Diocese of Dallas, 69 parishes and 5 missions aid about 1.2 million Catholics, in step with its web dwelling.