For immediate release: Thursday, December 12, 2013
The Vatican has named Msgr. Michael J. Sis, 53, vicar general of the Diocese of Austin, Texas, as bishop of San Angelo, Texas.
We wish Bishop Sis well. But we are not optimistic about his promotion. As Austin’s vicar general, we strongly suspect he helped conceal clergy sex crimes, as most Catholic vicar generals do.
We hope that Bishop Sis will immediately post on the San Angelo diocesan website the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting cleric who lives or worst (or has lived or worked ) in the diocese. Roughly 30 US bishops have done this. It’s the quickest way to protect kids.
We also hope he visits every parish where Fr. Miguel Esquivel worked, begging those with information or suspicions about this crimes to call law enforcement. We believe Fr. Esquivel belongs behind bars and might get there if Bishop Sis uses his bully pulpit and diocesan resources to aggressively seek out others who were hurt by him.
Finally, it’s always tempting to give a new bishop the benefit of the doubt. We hope, however, that victims, witnesses and whistleblowers don’t do this. We hope that instead they report any known or suspected clergy sex crimes or cover ups to secular authorities, not church authorities. That’s the best way to safeguard kids from predators.