© 2022 88.9 KETR
Public Radio for Northeast Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Diocese of Dallas List Includes Former Priests From Bonham, Greenville, Paris, Rockwall Parishes

The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas, which serves the Diocese of Dallas.
Wikimedia Commons
The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas, which serves the Diocese of Dallas.

On Thursday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas released a list containing the names of 31 priests and other church officials “credibly accused” of sexual misconduct with minors since 1950.

The list included five priests who had served at various times in Northeast Texas: Michael Barone, who served in Paris and Clarksville; Richard Brown, who served in Rockwall; Patrick Lynch, who served in Greenville; Jose Saldana, who served in Bonham; and Raymond (John) Scott, who served in Greenville. According to the list, Barone is retired, Brown is absent on leave, Lynch and Scott are deceased, and Saldana is in the process of being removed from clergy.

Significantly, the list did not specify where the incidents in question occurred. Most men whose names were listed served at several different parishes and other pastoral assignments during their careers.

All Roman Catholic dioceses in Texas published similar lists on Thursday, except for the Diocese of Fort Worth, which published a similar list in 2005 and continues to maintain it. In total, there were 286 names of priests and others accused of sexually abusing children. Church officials emphasized that those named were the subject of accusations deemed credible by the church itself, and were not necessarily indicative of culpability in the legal system.

Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns called the release part of “a difficult day for the church in the State of Texas and for the Diocese of Dallas.”

List provides basic data, few details

None of the accused men’s pastoral assignment histories presented in the Diocese of Dallas’ list provide the dates of service at the various assignments.

Of the 31 listed by the Diocese of Dallas, 17 are dead, five have been convicted in court, and four of those still alive have been removed or are being removed from clergy.

A diocese is the basic organizational jurisdiction in the Roman Catholic Church. Each diocese is governed by a bishop. There are 15 Roman Catholic dioceses in Texas. All of Northeast Texas was within the Diocese of Dallas until 1987, when the new Diocese of Tyler was created from the eastern counties of the Diocese of Dallas as well as counties from two other existing dioceses to the south. Fannin, Hunt, Kaufman and Rockwall counties are among those counties that remained in the Diocese of Dallas. Lamar, Delta, Hopkins, Rains and Van Zandt are among the counties that were included in the new Diocese of Tyler.

The Diocese of Tyler released three names during Thursday’s disclosures: Barone; Gustavo de Jesus Cuello, who served in Tyler; and John Flynn, who served in Longview.

Barone: Our Lady of Victory in Paris and St. Joseph in Clarksville

Barone is listed as retired. Born in 1947, Barone was ordained in 1975. The list describes Barone has having retired from the Diocese of Tyler in 2017 and “removed” from the Diocese of Dallas in 2018. Barone’s assignment history includes Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Paris, St. Joseph Catholic Mission in Clarksville, eight other Diocese of Dallas parishes, and Southern Methodist University’s Catholic Center.

Brown: Our Lady of the Lake in Rockwall

Brown is listed as absent on leave. Born in 1941, Brown was ordained in 1980. The list described Brown as having been “removed” in 2002. Brown’s assignment history includes Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Rockwall, four other Diocese of Dallas parishes, and an unspecified hospital/hospice chaplaincy.

Lynch, Scott: St. William in Greenville

Lynch was born in 1934 and died in 2014. He was ordained in 1959 and retired in 1995. Lynch’s assignment history includes St. William Catholic Church in Greenville, 11 other Diocese of Dallas parishes, and a chaplaincy at the Hensley Field U.S. Naval Air Station in Dallas.

Raymond (John) Scott was born in 1923 and died in 2012. He was ordained in 1948 and retired in 200. Scott's assignment history also in includes St. William Catholic Church in Greenville, as well as seven other Diocese of Dallas parishes.

Saldana: St. Elizabeth in Bonham

Saldana is in the process of laicization, or being removed from the status of clergy and returning to the laity. Born in 1951, Saldana was ordained in 1978. He was removed in 1998. Saldana’s assignment history includes St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Bonham, 11 other parishes in Texas, a parish in upstate New York, two North Texas ministries, and a U.S. Air Force chaplaincy.

Pennsylvania report sparked wave of disclosure

The move by Texas church leaders follows a shocking Pennsylvania report in August detailing seven decades of child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests. In the months after that report, about 50 dioceses and religious provinces released the names of nearly 1,250 priests.

There are only a handful of states where every diocese has released names and most of them have only given one or two.

"These have been very difficult days within the Church and the Diocese of Dallas," Bishop Edward J. Burns said in a letter to the diocese. "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. ... I pledge to you that we will do our best to do what is right." 

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a victims' advocacy group, offered qualified support for the disclosures.

"As advocates and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, we believe that any and all transparency is to be applauded coming from a closed and secret culture such as the Roman Catholic Church," the group said on Thursday. "The releasing of these names is at least one small step towards transparency. Still, we are concerned that these lists might not be as transparent as promised."

Earlier coverage from KERA North Texas contributed to this report.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.