SNAP: “Five Worst Cardinals”

ABC reports that SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, has issued a list of the “Five Worst Cardinals.” On the list: Dan DiNardo of Houston.

Cardinals Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Daniel DiNardo of Houston, Edward Egan of New York, Francis George of Chicago and Sean O’Malley of Boston are the worst cardinals whose “secrecy and deceit” have been most egregious, according to SNAP. …

Cardinal DiNardo suspended a priest accused of sexual abuse but kept his action and the sex abuse allegations against Fr. Stephen Horn secret for two months while he was named and promoted to cardinal, according to SNAP. When then-Bishop DiNardo served in Iowa, he similarly mishandled allegations of sex abuse against a priest, only disclosing them long afterwards, according to SNAP.

Here are its details about DiNardo:

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston

• In November 2007, a victim reported having been sexually abused by Fr. Stephen Horn between 1989 and 1993. DiNardo found him credible and suspended Horn. The Cardinal, however, kept the allegation and his determination secret from parishioners, police and the public for two months, despite US bishops’ repeated pledges to act quickly and openly with credibly sex abuse allegations. Finally, in mid-January, DiNardo disclosed his action. (The delay gave Horn, a credibly accused molester, ample opportunity to fabricate alibis, destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, or even flee the country, as some pedophile priests have done.)

Part of DiNardo’s secrecy and delay occurred in the weeks between when the Pope announced that DiNardo would be named a Cardinal (October 2007) and when DiNardo was promoted amid much pageantry (November 24). Some Houston Catholics have speculated that DiNardo didn’t want the news of Horn’s crimes to ‘rain on (DiNardo’s) parade’

Weeks ago, SNAP wrote DiNardo, urging him to explain and apologize for his secrecy. SNAP has urged the cardinal to visit parishes where Horn worked and emphatically beg victims and witnesses to come forward, get help and call the police. He has not responded to either the letter or the request.

• When he was a bishop in Sioux City Iowa, DiNardo similarly mishandled the Fr. George McFadden case in Iowa, only disclosing the allegations against this predator priest long afterwards.)

Beginning in the 1990s (and likely longer), Sioux City church officials knew of repeated charges of child molestation against McFadden, an admitted abuser, dating back into the 1960s. (DiNardo was Sioux City bishop starting in 1997.) For at least five years (and even later), 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 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.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news5/2008_01_14_Kever_PriestRemoved.htm

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2008/01_02/2008_01_14_Quinn_ChurchOfficials.htm