NTX Bishop speaks out following list of clergy with “credible accusations”

Updated: Oct. 10, 2018 at 11:04 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas is speaking out after the names of 17 North Texas clergy members accused of sexually abusing minors were released. Six of which have ties to Texoma.

“I add my sincere sorrow for the pain and suffering that victims have endured and the embarrassment that the Catholic faithful have experienced,” said Bishop Edward Burns.

Burns along with the bishops of the other 14 Texas dioceses say they are releasing the names of all clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors dating back to the 1950s.

“We are doing this as a part of our ongoing work to protect our children, create a safe environment, to promote healing for those who had been abused, and to demonstrate that we are focused in facing this issue,” said Bishop Burns.

Some pastors named Wednesday served at several catholic churches in the area.

Deacon Russell William Detwiler was at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wichita Falls from 2010 to 2015. He was also the chaplain at Allred Prison in Iowa Park.

Last week Detwiler was sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to indecency with a child and aggravated sexual assault of a minor.

Another name on that list is Rudolph Renteria who was a priest. The Catholic Dioceses of Fort Worth said he was at Sacred Heart in the early 1980s. So was James Fitzpatick who was at the church in the early 70s.

Priest Gilbert Pansza served at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in the Falls in 2006. The diocese said he was removed from active ministry that same year after files of a past admission of sexual misconduct with a minor from the 1970s were discovered.

Philip Magaldi is another priest named. He served at multiple churches in the area including Henrietta, Montague, Nocona and Bowie in the early 90s.

James Howlett is the last of the six accused and also served in a number of places including Olney and Graham.

All of the other Texas dioceses will publish their lists by January 31.

“As the bishop of the Diocese of Dallas I pledge that we will do our best to be accountable and to be transparent, because we are committed to addressing this evil and being the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ we say we are," said Bishop Burns.

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