HOUSTON — Many people are calling for Cardinal Daniel DiNardo to resign from the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a news conference Monday in front of the Co-Cathedral of Sacred Heart in downtown Houston. About a dozen members there demanded Cardinal DiNardo step down from his leadership role, saying, “he no longer has the moral authority.”
The calls for him to resign come days after DiNardo was accused of covering up a case in which his deputy allegedly manipulated a woman into a sexual relationship while counseling the woman and her husband on their marriage – and accepting the couple’s donations.
The Archdiocese said they immediately removed the deputy from his position and put Monsignor Frank Rossi into a treatment facility.
On Monday, SNAP’s leaders said there were a number of cases in the Houston area where priests were allowed to stay in ministry after being accused of sexual misconduct with children, pointing out the recent case against Father Manuel LaRosa Lopez.
“This man was allowed to continue in his ministry for 9 months after the third accuser came forward,” said SNAP executive director Michael Norris. “The third accuser came forward in November of 2017, and he wasn’t removed from ministry until September of last year. The problem is no one in that parish knew of the three accusations, and their children were allowed to be around this man.”
Starting Tuesday, the bishops will have a week-long conference in Baltimore. Their plan is to adopt new accountability measures for priests accused of sexual abuse.
The Archdiocese released the following statement:
“Cardinal DiNardo will continue working with like-minded reformers at all levels of the Church to fight the evil of abuse in all its forms. He will not resign from anything.
“As president of the USCCB, Cardinal DiNardo’s aggressive leadership helped lay the foundation for Pope Francis’ historic decree just last month making bishops directly accountable either for acts of sexual abuse or efforts to cover such behavior up.
“Here at home, Cardinal DiNardo has also acted swiftly and justly in removing priests from active ministry each time he was presented with credible evidence of sexual abuse or inappropriate behavior.
“We categorically reject the AP’s fabricated quotes and biased reporting last week, and will continue cooperating with authorities entrusted with establishing the truth and dispensing justice.
“The Archdiocese will continue cooperating with the authorities looking into this matter.”
OTHER RELATED ARTICLES:
- Prosecutor: More sex abuse victims in megachurch likely
- Archdiocese responds to report accusing Cardinal DiNardo of mishandling sexual misconduct case
- Conroe police picked lock on Houston archdiocese vault to get priest's files
- Priest under investigation for child sex abuse submits resignation
- Pope issues new Vatican law: Priests, nuns must report sex abuse, cover-up
- Conroe priest indicted on 2 of 4 child indecency charges
- Second woman accuses Houston priest of sex abuse
- 2 priests who taught at St. Thomas High School on credible abuse allegation list
- Lawsuit says Catholic priest exposed himself during confessional
- Another Houston Catholic priest removed from ministry amid abuse allegation