The city of Dallas recently voted to change the names of five Confederate-named streets, out of seventeen total. As the city prepares to erase another link to its controversial past, one street was overlooked.
While it’s not a Confederate-named street, Via Bishop Grahmann is considered by some to be the “most offensive street name in Dallas.”
Under the leadership of Bishop Charles Grahmann, who oversaw the Catholic Diocese of Dallas from 1990-2007, the diocese was found guilty in 1997 of gross negligence, conspiracy, malice, and fraud for its role in hiding the crimes of Rudy Kos, a priest who was convicted of molesting children.
According to D Magazine, while Grahmann claimed on the stand to have no knowledge of the abuse, his cavalier attitude conveyed to the jury that he didn’t care about the serious charges.
“It looked like he was bored to death and thought he was above it all,” the jury forewoman later said. “I don’t know how you can be in that much denial and have that much evidence.”
The jury delivered the heaviest clergy-abuse verdict in history of nearly $120 million, which was later reduced.
Critics of the street’s name find it offensive to honor a man who failed to protect innocent children. In addition, the street name is also illegal because Dallas city code requires a person be deceased for two years prior to having a street named after them. At 86, Grahmann is currently living in San Antonio.
What will the city do about Via Bishop Grahmann? As monuments to the Confederacy fall, will this connection to one of religion’s darkest periods during modern times come down as well?