HOUSTON- As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops starts, some are calling for Cardinal Daniel Dinardo to step down from his leadership role, saying he’s not qualified. DiNardo is president of the organization, which is supposed to be addressing the issue of sexual abuse in the church at its conference this week.
Some are saying that DiNardo is not qualified to lead discussions on how to hold priests accountable for sexual abuse or for covering up sexual abuse because of recent revelations of abuse in his own diocese.
About a dozen members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests— or SNAP — gathered outside the Co-Cathedral of the Scared Heart Monday to call for DiNardo to step down.
“In our opinion, he’s not capable of leading, nor does he have the moral authority to lead us out of this issue," SNAP leader Michael Norris said. "We’ve had four cases right here in Houston where he has totally mishandled.”
One of the cases he’s talking about is one we told you about last week.
You have read the exclusive Associated Press story on a local woman who claims she was sexually abused by Monsingor Frank Rossi, who was one of DiNardo’s highest ranking deputies. The woman said she was told he would never counsel women again, only to find out months later that he was moved to another parish to pastor there.
“He is doing a terrible job here in the diocese. We are seeing again priests just moved around from one diocese to another. We think- we know that there are many more secrets that are going to be coming out," protestor Eduardo Lopez de Casas said.
After the calls for DiNardo to step down from his position as USCCB president, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston released a statement.
“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,” the statement read in part.
The USCCB conference begins Tuesday and goes through Friday. Public sessions of discussions and votes will be live streamed on the USCCB website.