Dioceses will submit the list in full by the end of January, Mr. Burns said, who added that the list may be amended to include additional names provided the information comes to light.
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What’s the problem?
The monumental task comes during trying times for the Catholic Church, as it struggles to regain its moral compass amid repeated allegations of both sexual abuse by men of the cloth, and, perhaps worse, the systematic coverup of these deeds.
"I truly believe this is the first time an entire state has bound together in order to release names," Burns said.
The bishop said the church wants to "protect our children, create a safe environment, to promote healing for those who've been abused, and to demonstrate that we are focused on facing this issue."
Allegations of clergy abuse have plagued the church for decades, but the volume of the alleged victims’ pleas seems to many Catholics especially loud in the current climate of political correctness.
A Pennsylvania grand jury report in August found that at least 1,000 children were victims of sexual abuse by priests over the past 70 years, and that church executives with knowledge of the crimes have either disregarded it or actively conspired to cover up the incidents.
Burns said he owed transparency "to the faithful of the Diocese of Dallas."
"And more importantly I owe it to those who've been abused and their families," he said.
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