Five priests who were assigned to Catholic churches in Cooke County and surrounding areas sometime since 1950 are listed among clergy members who have received a credible accusation of sexual abuse of a minor, two Catholic dioceses have said.
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas released a list on Thursday, Jan. 31, of active and former priests who “have been the subject of a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor in the Diocese” at any point since 1950, according to a letter from diocese Bishop Edward J. Burns.
“Although I have also provided this list of names to law enforcement, inclusion on this list does not indicate that a priest is guilty of, been convicted of, or has admitted to the alleged abuse,” Burns wrote in the letter, posted to the diocese’s website along with the list of clergy members.
Two clergy members who worked in the Gainesville area appear on the Dallas list. Three others appear on a list from the Diocese of Fort Worth.
Jeremy Myers, whose status with the Dallas diocese is currently suspended, was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Quasi of Whitesboro, according to the list.
It’s unclear what time period he worked in Whitesboro, but a devotional he authored is included in a St. Francis church bulletin dated Nov. 20, 2016 and archived on the website of its sister parish, St. Mary’s in Sherman.
Myers was ordained in 1984 and subsequently suspended in 2018. He had also had assignments within the Dallas diocese at Good Shepherd parish in Garland, St. Mary’s in Sherman and St. Thomas Aquinas.
William Lane was assigned to St. Charles parish in Gainesville at some point before his death in 1968, according to the diocese’s list. It’s unclear what parish that refers to, as the parish in Gainesville has been named St. Mary since 1879, according to the local parish’s website. Lane was also assigned to St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Worth.
The list of 31 names from the Diocese of Dallas is one of 14 such lists posted by dioceses in Texas on Thursday. Across the state, nearly 300 clergy appear on the lists.
In Burns’ letter, he stated the list is “following through on a commitment I made in October” to state which priests in the diocese had been credibly accused.
“As we look back at the Church’s history, our failure to protect our most vulnerable from abuse, and hold accountable those who preyed on them, fills me with both sorrow and shame,” Burns said in the letter. “But the painful yet necessary process that began in 2002 in this Diocese has also led to much-needed reforms that we continue to rigorously implement today. Going forward, we must remain vigilant.”
The full letter and list can be viewed online at www.cathdal.org/response.
Three other area clergy members appear on a similar list previously published by the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth.
In October 2018, the diocese updated a list on its website of priests who had been “the subjects of credible allegations of sexual abuse against a minor.” Two deceased clergy members and one who was sent to state prison had assignments at parishes in Cooke or Montague counties during their careers.
Russell William Detwiler, who was sentenced to state prison on charges of indecency with a child and aggravated sexual assault of a minor, was assigned to four parishes including St. Joseph Catholic Church in Nocona from April 2006 to December 2008.
Philip Magaldi, who died in 2008, was assigned to the same four parishes from 1990-1992. He was removed from ministry in August 2006.
Bede Mitchel, who died in 1983, had assignments at Sacred Heart Parish in Muenster from 1969-1973 and at St. Peter Parish in Lindsay from 1973-1975, according to the Diocese of Fort Worth’s list.