Fort Worth

March 7, 2014

Diocese settles another case of sexual abuse by former Arlington priest

Former priest James Reilly, who died in 1999, was assigned to St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington from 1969 through 1987.

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth reached a settlement this week with a person who accused former priest James Reilly of sexual abuse, according to a news release from the diocese on Friday.

Terms of the settlement were confidential and the person asked to remain anonymous, said Pat Svacina, a spokesman for the diocese.

He said he was unaware if similar cases are pending.

Reilly was assigned to St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington from 1969 through 1987. He retired in 1987, moved to Philadelphia and died in 1999.

It wasn’t clear Friday night how many cases involving Reilly the diocese has settled. According to previous Star-Telegram reports, one Dallas lawyer said in June 2012 that 26 of her clients had settled claims against the former priest. All her clients were male.

Another person not represented by the lawyer settled a claim in April 2013.

Bishop Michael Olson said in the statement on Friday that he was deeply sorry for any sexual abuse and that such actions are “a sin and a crime.”

“As the shepherd of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, I am committed to ensuring that the Diocese’s policies are adhered to so we can prevent future tragedy such as that which has befallen the victims of abuse,” he said.

He said the diocese would address any charge of abuse as quickly as possible.

To report abuse, people are encouraged to call Child Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400. To report abuse directly to the diocese, call Judy Locke, victim assistance coordinator, at 817-560-2452, ext. 201 or e-mail her at jlocke@fwdioc.org. The number for a sexual abuse hotline is 817-560-2452, ext. 900.

This contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

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