Top US cardinal let priest accused of sexual abuse lead Mass

In this Nov. 13, 2017, file photo, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaks at a news conference during the USCCB's annual fall meeting in Baltimore. Catholic leaders in Texas on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children, a number that represents one of the largest collections of names to be released since an explosive grand jury report last year in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Bishop Joe S. Vasquez with the Diocese of Austin released Thursday a list of clergy and religious men — including some who served in Bell, Milam, Coryell and Lampasas counties — that he said were credibly accused of committing sexual abuse against a minor.

Bishop Vasquez apologized to the victims and their families for the diocese’s failure and said, “The church must always be willing to recognize and correct its failings.”

In making the list, outside professionals worked with diocesan staff to go over 70 years of archived documents.

“The list contains the names of priests, deacons, or religious about whom the Diocese of Austin has received a credible allegation of committing sexual abuse against a minor. If the diocese receives additional credible allegations, the list will be amended. If you believe a name is missing from this list, please contact the diocese,” the bishop said.

The inclusion of a name on this list does not establish that the allegation was substantiated or proven to the Diocese of Austin, a court, or other authority, and does not establish that sexual abuse under the Texas Penal Code actually occurred, Bishop Vasquez said.

Seven men were listed from the Diocese of Austin and assigned to congregations in the Killeen-Temple area. Four of them are dead and two were laicized (removed from the clerical state). They are:

• Rafael Rendon Ozuna, assigned to St. Joseph in Killeen and  Our Lady of Guadalupe in Temple. Ozuna was laicized in 2013 and removed from the ministry in 2010. He was a deacon who was born in 1944 and ordained in 2007. He is about 74 years old.

• Daniel Joseph Delaney, assigned to Sts. Cyril & Methodius in Granger; St. Joseph in Bryan; and St. Mary in Lampasas. He died in 2008 and was ordained in 1999. He was about 62 years old at the time of his death.

• James Gallagher, assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes in Gatesville and St. Thomas in Hamilton. Gallagher died in 2005 and was ordained in 1984. He was about 73 years old when he died.

• Ricardo Aguilar, who was assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Temple; St. Matthew in Rogers; Our Lady of Guadalupe in Taylor; and St. William in Round Rock. He was removed from the ministry in 2011 and was laicized in 2017. Aguilar was ordained in 1995 and is about 59 years old.

• James H. Greenwell, assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Temple; Blessed Sacrament in Cameron; Santa Maria del Pilar and St. Joseph, both in Marlin; and was the Veterans Administration chaplain in Waco. He died in 2012 and was ordained in 1954. He was about 88 years old when he died.

• Conrad Kinder, assigned to St. Mary in Temple; St. Helen in Georgetown; St. Thomas in Hamilton; and St. Mary in Taylor. Kinder died in 1978. He was ordained in 1921 and died at about age 87.

• James R. O’Connor, assigned to St. Mary in Temple; Holy Trinity in Jarrell; St. Helen in Georgetown; St. Thomas in Hamilton; and St. Mary in Taylor. He was laicized in 2018 and removed from the ministry in 2004. O’Connor was ordained in 1969. He is about 76 years old.

• Alberto Matta Tijerina, assigned to St. Helen in Georgetown and St. William in Round Rock. Tijerina was removed from the ministry in 1993 after his ordination in 1980. He was previously with the Diocese of San Angelo and is about 64 years old.

• Louis J. Wozniak, assigned to St. Helen in Georgetown. He retired in 1999 and was removed from the ministry in 2015. Wozniak was ordained in 1951. He is about 92 years old.

In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops implemented the Charter for the Protection of Children. The charter, coupled with the implementation of an Ethics and Integrity in Ministry (EIM) program, has had a significant impact in reducing the abuse of minors by clergy. Yet, we must remain vigilant in protecting children from harm.

“If you have suffered sexual abuse and have not reported it, please report the abuse to law enforcement authorities. If the sexual abuse occurred by a minister in the church, please also contact our Office of Ethics and Integrity in Ministry,” Bishop Vasquez said.

Email the Killeen Daily Herald newsroom news@kdhnews.com

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