SNAP Demands Action in Advance of Papal Abuse Summit

SNAP Demands Action in Advance of Papal Abuse Summit
They are calling for Pope Francis to fire Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
There “Can Be No Credibility” With DiNardo in Attendance, SNAP Says
“The Time for Decisive Action is Now,” They Say

WHAT: Leaders from the Houston branch of the nation’s oldest and largest advocacy group for victims of clergy and institutional sex abuse will reiterate the groups demands in advance of the Pope’s summit on clergy sexual abuse slated to start on February 21 and will specifically call for the removal of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo due to his mishandling of clergy sex abuse crimes in both Houston and Sioux City, IA

WHEN: Tuesday, February 19th at 4 pm

WHERE: Outside the Co-Cathedral of Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy, Houston, TX 77002

WHO: Representatives of the Houston, Texas chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation’s oldest and largest support and advocacy group for victims of clergy sexual abuse, including the longtime Houston, TX area volunteer leader.

WHY: In advance of a global summit that is ostensibly set to determine pathways forward from the clergy abuse and cover-up crisis, representatives from SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will reiterate their demands for the meeting that they first made via letter to the apostolic nuncio. They are specifically asking that Pope Francis immediately fire any church hierarchs who have had a role in covering up or minimizing cases of child sexual abuse, including Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

The group is singling out DiNardo because he is the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, despite his repeated mishandling of two child abusing clerics in Houston – Fr. Manual LaRosa Lopez and Fr. John Keller – and in Sioux City, Iowa – most notably that of confessed serial abuser, Fr. Jerome Coyle.

“Neither this summit nor any reforms the church hopes to implement back here in the United States can have any credibility as long as Cardinal DiNardo is the man in charge of implementing them,” said Michael Norris, Houston leader of SNAP. “If the Pope really wants to show that he ‘gets it,’ he should immediately remove all the bishops and cardinals who have allowed abusive priests to prey on children, and here in Houston that is Cardinal DiNardo.”

In addition to firing prelates who have covered up abuse, the group has called on Pope Francis to:

  1. Fire any and all bishops or cardinals who have had a hand in clergy sex abuse cover-ups,
  2. Impose “dramatic and punitive consequences” to deter any future cover-ups,
  3. Eliminate any directive for church staff to report abuse to bishops and instead direct all church staff and officials to make reports to law enforcement, and
  4. Compel bishops around the world to turn their files over to law enforcement for independent investigations into their handling of clergy sex abuse cases, and
  5. Order bishops and other hierarchs to cease lobbying efforts against legislative reform that would benefit survivors.

CONTACT: Michael Norris, SNAP Houston (snapmdnorris@hotmail.com, 713-855-9178) Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009), Tim Lennon, SNAP President (tlennon@snapnetwork.org, 415-312-5820)

(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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