HOUSTON - A press conference and protest were held Monday afternoon by Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, Houston, which is calling for Cardinal Daniel DiNardo to step down.
A small but vocal group of people victimized by Catholic church child sexual abuse staged a protest Monday, outside downtown Houston's Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. People held signs and photos at the sidewalk of the cathedral, demanding DiNardo to step down from his position after they say he "mishandled" the clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
"We're here today, one day before the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meets to ask Cardinal DiNardo to step down," Michael Norris, SNAP director said.
Survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates with SNAP discussed DiNardo's actions involving cases of clerical sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Norris, a victim of sexual abuse, has long spoken out against the leadership of the Catholic church. Norris and other members of the "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests," believe that Cardinal DiNardo has failed to enact meaningful change in the areas of transparency and sexual abuse reporting.
"He knew about (Father Manuel) Larosa-Lopez for nine months, and what else does he know that he is not telling us about?" Norris said.
Archdiocesan release statement on cardinal leading USCCB reforms:
"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.
"Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serves 1.7 million Catholics in 10 counties.
It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the 5th largest in the United States."
SNAP: Who are they?
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is a support group for those who have suffered "institutional" sexual abuse. It was founded in 1988 by Barbara Blaine, who says she was sexually abused as a child in Catholic school. SNAP now has more than 25,000 members worldwide with support groups in over 60 cities. For more information, visit http://www.snapnetwork.org.
Cardinal Dinardo: Who is he?
Daniel Nicolas DiNardo was born May 23, 1949, in Steubenville, Ohio. He was ordained in 1977. DiNardo was elevated to cardinal in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. He has been archbishop of Galveston-Houston since 2006. DiNardo has been president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops since 2016, the first-ever cardinal from a diocese in the southern U.S.
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