Diocese of Lubbock receives support against defamation lawsuit - FOX34 Lubbock

Diocese of Lubbock receives support against defamation lawsuit

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Diocese of Lubbock is receiving support in a lawsuit before the state's highest civil court.

A former deacon claims it wrongfully accused him of a sex crime. Jesus Guerrero is suing the Diocese for defamation and has appealed the case to the Texas Supreme Court.

Last year, he sued claiming he was wrongfully named in a list of clergy who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor.

Court records indicate Guerrero doesn't believe he belongs on that list because his accuser is not a minor.

However, according to canon law, a body of law used by the Catholic Church, a minor can include any person who lacks the mental faculties of an adult.

Now dozens of lawmakers, law professors and religious organizations are defending the Dioceses for the First Amendment right to religious autonomy when conducting internal affairs.

The Diocese argues punishing it for including Guerrero's name on its list could chill church efforts to be more transparent in the future.

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