Dallas, Texas, May 21, 2019 / 14:05 pm
The Bishop of Dallas says that a May 15 police raid on diocesan offices was sensationalism, traumatic, and a waste of resources.
“This event was most traumatic for those who were present in the building at the time, as some of the approximate 40 law enforcement agents approached employees in ski masks and SWAT gear,” Dallas Bishop Edward Burns said in a statement.
Burns said that while a subpoena would have sufficed for obtaining documents from the diocese, “the Dallas Police Department chose the sensational action of conducting this unnecessary raid.”
“We find this week’s events to be most troubling and consuming of significant resources that could have been put to much better use.”
Investigators from the Dallas child exploitation unit arrived at the chancery the morning of May 15 to search for information and evidence in relation to five current or former clergy of the diocese.
According to a search warrant affidavit, the investigation focused on Fr. Edmundo Paredes, Fr. Richard Thomas Brown, Fr. Alejandro Buitrago, Fr. William Joseph Hughes, Jr., and Fr. Jeremy Myers.
Searches were also carried out at a warehouse storage facility and a nearby parish.
All five men were included in a list of names of clergy “credibly” accused of sexual abuse released by Texas’ dioceses in January. The Diocese of Dallas released the name of 31 accused clerics, including 24 incardinated in the diocese and seven priests either from other dioceses or religious orders who had worked in Dallas.