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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

 

October 17, 2007

Sex abuse victims respond to promotion for Houston/ex-Iowa bishop

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home)

We're disappointed by this choice and believe Catholics should be disappointed too.

DiNardo's selection rubs even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of clergy sex abuse victims and their loved ones. His record in Sioux City was abysmal. His record in Houston shows no improvement.

Beginning in the 1990s (and likely longer), Sioux City church officials knew of repeated charges of child molestation against an admitted abuser, Fr. George B. McFadden (dating back into the 1960s). (DiNardo was Sioux City bishop  starting in 1997.) For at least five years DiNardo had the chance to disclose McFadden's hurtful actions to police, prosecutors, parishioners, and the public, and to keep McFadden from other vulnerable children. He stayed silent.

According to the Des Moines Register, "The confessed child molester continued to hear confession and say Mass daily over the past decade at the Cathedral of the Epiphany, Sioux City's largest Catholic church.)

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news/2002_06_23_Rood_ChurchSecrecy.htm

McFadden who remains a priest even now, is accused of abusing more than 25 girls and boys in dozens of civil lawsuits. Despite his alleged 'treatment' and 'retirement' in the 1990s, he continued to function as priest until 2002.

As long as the Vatican continues to promote bishops who covered up clergy child sexual abuse, Catholics can expect more kids to be hurt and more sex crimes to be committed.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 17 years and have more than 7,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688), Mary Grant (626-419-2930), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940)

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Oct. 17, 2007, 12:48PM
Pope's announcement gives Texas its first cardinal

By MATT CURRY Associated Press Writer - © 2007 The Associated Press

DALLAS — Texas Catholics on Wednesday celebrated the pope's selection of Daniel N. DiNardo as the state's first Roman Catholic cardinal.

DiNardo accepted congratulatory phone calls from priests in his parish and Catholic leaders across Texas.

"It says something about Texas and how wonderful Texas is in the terms of the growth of our Catholic faith," he said of his surprising elevation during an afternoon news conference in Houston.

Observers said Pope Benedict XVI, in selecting DiNardo as one of two new American cardinals, showed strong recognition of the large Latino community in the state, which has about 6.5 million Roman Catholics. About 1.3 million live in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.

Brian Schmisek, dean of the School of Ministry at the University of Dallas, a Catholic liberal arts university in suburban Irving, said all Texas Catholics should be proud.

"The appointment is a signal that the Vatican recognizes the growing importance of the Catholic Church in Texas," he said in a statement.

There are several other U.S. archdioceses that usually have cardinals leading them, including Washington and Baltimore, but the pope did not elevate their archbishops.

DiNardo was among 23 new cardinals named by Pope Benedict XVI. Eighteen, including DiNardo, are under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pontiff. Benedict said he would elevate the prelates at a Vatican ceremony Nov. 24.

DiNardo, 58, who for six years worked at the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, only became an archbishop last year.

"In particular, his tireless commitment to evangelizing the faithful at every level of need marks him as especially suited for this high honor within the Church," said the Rev. David M. O'Connell, president of The Catholic University in Washington, where DiNardo is an alumnus and trustee.

"This is, at the same time, a unique and historic honor for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, indeed for the Catholic Church in that region of our country," O'Connell said in a statement.

In late 2004, Pope John Paul II, acknowledging what church officials said was the growth of Catholicism in Texas, elevated the Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston to the rank of archdiocese. Galveston-Houston joined California as the second state in the country to have two archdioceses. San Antonio has carried the designation since 1926.

DiNardo, a priest for 26 years, was named bishop of the Sioux City, Iowa, diocese in 1997, where he said he said he "had the great pleasure of shepherding almost 15,000 square miles of cornfields."

When he arrived in Houston, the nation's fourth largest city, he joked that he told himself, "You know, DiNardo, I don't think you're in Iowa anymore."

In 2004, John Paul selected DiNardo to replace Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, who announced his resignation last year because he reached the 75-year-old age limit for the job.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston also oversees the dioceses of Austin, Tyler, Beaumont, Victoria, Corpus Christi and Brownsville.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gkaHB34eJ50F10n-2qJRiqXT9tagD8SB7TOG1

Texans Celebrate State's First Cardinal

By MATT CURRY –

DALLAS (AP) — Texas Catholics celebrated the appointment Wednesday of one of their two archbishops to become the state's first Roman Catholic cardinal.

Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston, was among 23 new cardinals named Wednesday by Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict said he would elevate the prelates at a Vatican ceremony Nov. 24.

"It says something about Texas and how wonderful Texas is in the terms of the growth of our Catholic faith," DiNardo said Wednesday at a news conference in Houston.

DiNardo said the size of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese has doubled in the last 10 years due to immigration from Mexico and Central America, Asia and Africa. Catholics have long been the largest single religious group in the state, said Jennifer A. Carr, associate director of the Texas Catholic Conference.

DiNardo's nomination was something of a surprise and appeared to indicate Benedict's desire to reach out to the state's large Hispanic community. Texas has about 6.5 million Roman Catholics. About 1.3 million live in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.

DiNardo, 58, who for six years worked at the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, was only named archbishop last year. There are several other U.S. archdioceses that usually have cardinals leading them, including Washington and Baltimore, but the pope did not elevate their archbishops.

Brian Schmisek, dean of the School of Ministry at the University of Dallas, a Catholic liberal arts university in suburban Irving, said all Texas Catholics should be proud.

"The appointment is a signal that the Vatican recognizes the growing importance of the Catholic Church in Texas," he said in a news release.

Not everyone applauded the appointment.

David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said DiNardo had an "abysmal" record dealing with clergy sex abuse issues while serving as bishop of the Sioux City, Iowa, diocese from 1997 until 2004, and that his record didn't improve in Houston.

"We're disappointed by this choice and believe Catholics should be disappointed, too," he said.

In 2004, John Paul selected DiNardo to replace Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, who announced his resignation last year because he reached the 75-year-old age limit for the job. DiNardo will continue to oversee the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.

The only other American named a cardinal Wednesday was Archbishop John Foley, a longtime Vatican official who was recently named grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
 


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