SNAP calls for Cardinal DiNardo resignation over abuse and handling of alligations
A group that advocates for survivors of sexual abuse by priests is calling on a former Catholic Bishop of Sioux City to resign from his leadership role in the church.
"The Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests" or "SNAP" says last week's revelations about former Sioux City priest Jerry Coyle is further proof that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo is unfit to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
SNAP claims Cardinal DiNardo, who was Bishop in Sioux City from 1998 until 2004, would have known about Coyle's 1986 confession to DiNardo's predecessor Bishop Lawrence Soens.
The group also points to what it calls DiNardo's recent failures in dealing with an abusive priest in Texas and his response to the grand jury investigation into abuse by priests in Pennsylvania.
In its call for DeNardo's resignation, the group says the Catholic Church in the U.S. needs a leader "untarnished by accusations of cover up."
After Sioux City Revelations, Cardinal DiNardo Must Step Down
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.
Sioux City Diocese cover up demonstrates need for state-wide investigation
For nearly 30 years, Sioux City bishops, including the current one, hid the fact that Father Jerome Coyle was an admitted pedophile. Yesterday, the Diocese asked for survivors to come forward.
SNAP has begged Church officials for decades to seek out other victims of know abusers. After putting innocent children at risk for decades, it seems to us that the Sioux City Diocese is only now asking people to come forward because parishioners and the public are appalled at what was concealed for so long.
Make no mistake, victims and witnesses should come forward. However, they should not report to the very Church officials who hid an abuser for all those years, as the Sioux City Diocese suggested. Reports of sexual abuse need to be made to the police or to child protection agencies, not the Church.
We note that there is a December 6th meeting scheduled between the Sioux City Diocese and the Iowa Attorney General. We feel strongly that this must be followed by a state-wide investigation that has subpoena powers, and that also offers survivors an opportunity to share their truths. Nineteen other states have instituted such a probe.
We hope that in the light of the egregious cover up in Sioux City that every Iowan who has not already done so will write to their Attorney General and request just such a state-wide investigation.
Too many children have already suffered.