The Dallas district attorney has announced that his special grand jury has not handed down any indictments for criminal wrongdoing against the Dallas diocese. However, I don’t think it’s quite the complete exoneration that the diocesan mouthpieces think it is.
The grand jury was convened after several priests were accused of sexual misconduct earlier this year because the DA wanted to know if the diocese had lied when it said in 2003 that all cases of abuse had been opened and reported to authorities.
But the lawyer for one of those accused priests said his client was never called before the grand jury.
The district attorney’s office is continuing its prosecution of the Rev. Matthew Bagert, a Grand Prairie priest whose February arrest on child pornography charges helped trigger the broader investigation.
Father Bagert was not asked to testify before the special grand jury, said his attorney, Patrick McLain.
“I think there’s still the possibility that this thing could rear its head again,” the lawyer said, referring to prosecutors’ broader investigation. “I know they haven’t gotten to the bottom of things.
“I don’t know whether they’re interested in looking into the conduct of others, whether they’re related to Father Matt or not.” Mr. McLain, who is Catholic and a former federal prosecutor, expressed dismay at the management of his denomination. “There’s just a lot of rot,” he said. “I don’t know if there’s anyone interested, outside the Catholic faithful, in cleaning it up.”