After Sioux City Revelations, Cardinal DiNardo Must Step Down

For immediate Release: November 7, 2018

The AP reported last week that, for thirty years, the Diocese of Sioux City knew a priest had abused at least 50 children. However, the Diocese chose to conceal this fact from the public, and in doing so put additional young people at risk of serious harm for decades.

A new report from the National Catholic Reporter shows that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo – then the Bishop of Sioux City and today the Cardinal in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston – would have been aware of Fr. Jerome Coyle’s 1986 confession that he had molested dozens of children over a twenty year period. This fact, combined with Cardinal DiNardo’s previous mishandling of abuse allegations in Sioux City, as well as his recent failure with similar allegations against a priest in Conroe, TX, is, in our opinion, proof positive that Cardinal DiNardo is unfit for his role as the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Cardinal DiNardo talked tough following the Pennsylvania Grand Jury, as well as when the allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick became public. But words mean nothing when they are not backed up by action. In each of the three egregious cases under his direct control, the Cardinal did nothing.

As the Catholic Church is again publicly grappling with the reality and severity of the clergy abuse crisis, it needs a leader untarnished by accusations of cover up. Cardinal DiNardo’s failure to act in the past should be enough for any bishop who is serious about fixing this crisis to demand his resignation. We hope that this will be the case next week when the USCCB meets in Baltimore. 

Children – and the Church – deserve someone who will take steps to remove abusers from ministry, not someone who has covered up for them.

CONTACT: Michael Norris, SNAP Houston Leader (snapmdnorris@hotmail.com, 713-855-9178), Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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  • Richard Kensinger, MSW
    commented 2018-11-07 16:28:36 -0600
    I will be watching very closely the position this conference takes on this growing world-wide scandal. I am not overtly optimistic that these bishops will take a stand on behalf of all youth. My own diocese in PA is quite quiet about this escalating crisis. Mark Bartchack is our bishop. After reading our state AG report, I have doubts about his commitment to take even more radical action on behalf of all youth.
    Rich, MSW

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