SNAP President Calls for the Resignation of Former Sioux City Bishop, Daniel DiNardo, as Head of US Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Cardinal has been accused of covering up clergy sexual abuse in Sioux City and Houston
Victims want both dioceses to release the names of known abusers
Church officials should also reach out to every parish where each accused worked
Survivors’ group urges Catholics in the pews to speak out against those who hide predators
Holdings signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse survivors and their supporters will:
- Call for the ouster of Cardinal DiNardo as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) due to his reported cover up of clergy sex crimes in Sioux City and Houston,
- Urge Catholic officials in both cities to disclosure the names of all those accused of abuse, and to also reach out to every parish, school or institution where each abuser worked and urge victims, witnesses and whistle blowers to report to law enforcement, and
- Beg concerned clergy and laity to make it clear that cover ups will no longer be tolerated and to speak out for the removal of Church officials who, like the Cardinal, enable abuse.
Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 2 pm
Stoney Creek Inn Conference Room, 300 3rd St, Sioux City
2-3 clergy sex abuse survivors and supporters, including a former Sioux City resident who is the President of the Board of Directors of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and who was victimized by Fr. Peter B. Murphy at Blessed Sacrament in Sioux City in 1960; and a Sioux City attorney who has represented many victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo is currently the president of the USCCB and the archbishop of Galveston-Houston. The cardinal, who was also the Bishop of Sioux City from 1997 to 2004, is accused of covering up sexual abuse in both Sioux City and Houston.
According to media reports, the Diocese of Sioux City concealed for decades the identity of a priest who disclosed to Church officials in 1986 that he had abused dozens of Iowa boys. Cardinal DiNardo was among the bishops that hid Fr. Jerome Coyle’s admission from the public. None of the prelates, including the Cardinal, reached out to those who may have been harmed by Fr. Coyle.
Similarly, the Cardinal and other Sioux City bishops also failed to notify their flock about multiple allegations of abuse by Fr. George B. McFadden. SNAP believes that if law enforcement would seize the records of the Sioux City Diocese, they would find that additional crimes were concealed by Cardinal DiNardo and others.
For example, SNAP President Tim Lennon first reported his abuse by Fr. Peter B. Murphy to the Diocese in 1996. Lennon was raped in 1960 at age 12 by Fr. Murphy at Blessed Sacrament in Sioux City. While the Diocese told reporters in 2016 that Lennon’s was the first allegation they had received against Fr. Murphy, who was by then deceased, five other men subsequently came forward to accuse the priest of abusing them when they were children. Fr. Murphy was moved repeatedly. His spotty assignment history and the number of accusers who have spoken up against him, the survivors’ group finds it hard to believe that the Diocese only became aware that Fr. Murphy was abusing boys in 1996.
Search warrants were recently executed for records from the Archdiocese of Houston after Cardinal DiNardo was accused of covering up abuse there. The Cardinal reportedly allowed Fr. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez to remain in ministry until the fall of 2018, despite allegations from three people, one of whom came forward in 1992 when the priest was still a seminarian. Cardinal DiNardo is also accused of leaving two other accused priests in ministry.
SNAP believes that the Cardinal’s role in covering up abuse in both Sioux City and Houston make him unfit to lead the USCCB. The bishops’ group need someone at the helm who will be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
The survivors’ group also calls on Cardinal DiNardo and Bishop Nickless of Sioux City to disclose the names of all those who have been accused of abuse in both dioceses, including diocesan and order clergy, nuns, brothers, and lay employees.
Victims also want the two prelates to reach out to every parish were the named abusers worked and beg victims, witness and whistle blowers to come forward. SNAP emphasizes that any and all information should be passed along directly to law enforcement, not to the Church.
In addition, SNAP calls on parishioners to make it clear that the failure to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse will not be allowed to continue. The group believes that the first step those still in the pews should take is to support the ouster of Cardinal DiNardo from his position as the head of the USCCB.
Fr. Jerome Coyle Assignments in Sioux City Diocese:
- 1959: chaplain, Sacred Heart Hospital in Le Mars
- 1959-1963: faculty member, Bishop Heelan High School in Sioux City
- 1963-1964: assistant pastor, Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City
- 1964-1966: assistant pastor, Immaculate Conception Parish in Sioux City
- 1966-1970: pastor, Visitation Parish in Maryhill
- 1970-1972: pastor, St. Margaret Parish in Rolfe
- 1972-1974: pastor, St. Mary Parish in Armstrong
- 1974-1977: pastor, Holy Angels Parish in Roselle
- 1977-1978: pastor, St. Brigid Parish in Grand Junction (also in Paton)
- 1978-1986: pastor, St. Cecilia Parish in Sanborn (also in Hartley)
Fr. George B. McFadden Assignments in Sioux City Diocese:
- 1953-1957: assistant pastor, St. Mary’s in Storm Lake
- 1957-1960: assistant pastor, Immaculate Conception in Sioux City
- 1960-1969: pastor, St. Francis of Assisi’s in Sioux City
- 1969-1972: pastor, St. Joseph’s in Jefferson
- 1972-1987: pastor, St. James’ in Le Mars
- 1987-1992: pastor, St. Andrew’s in Sibley
- 1992-1995: ?
- 1995-2002: retired, Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City
Fr. Peter B. Murphy Assignments in Sioux City Diocese:
- 1955: temporary assistant, St. Mary’s in Danbury
- 1955-1956: assistant pastor, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Emmetsburg
- 1955-1956: faculty, Emmetsburg Catholic High School in Emmetsburg
- 1956-1960: assistant pastor, Sacred Heart in Fort Dodge
- 1960: temporary assistant pastor, St. Michael’s in Whittemore
- 1960: temporary assistant pastor, Blessed Sacrament in Sioux City
- 1960-1963: Absent on leave in official directory, but other sources show assignments
- 1961: locum tenens, St. Joseph’s/Kossuth County in St. Joseph
- 1961: temporary assistant pastor, St. Mary’s in Danbury
- 1963-1964: temporary assistant pastor, St. Rose of Lima in Denison
- 1964-1980: absent on leave
- 1973: temporary assistant pastor, Sacred Heart in Spencer
- 8/8/1973: assistant pastor , Immaculate Conception in Cherokee
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.