Catholic Church confesses, 42 local priests credibly accused - What's Your Point?

- This week's panel: Jessica Colon - Republican strategist, Nyanza Davis Moore - Democratic Political Commentator Attorney,  Jacob Monty – Republican attorney,  Antonio Diaz- writer, educator and radio host,  Tomaro Bell – Super Neighborhood leader, Kathleen McKinley – conservative blogger respond to the release of the names of 42 Houston-Galveston Diocese priests credibly accused of abuse.

Survivors of priest abuse responded to that list during a news conference on Thursday. A handful of survivors who are a part of the Survivors Network of those Abused By Priests (SNAP) gathered near the archdiocese building in downtown Houston.

The survivors of priest sexual abuse said they believe there are many more priests in the Houston area not on the archdiocese’s list who’ve committed sexual abuse without any consequences.

Amber Perez said her daughter was abused at a Catholic school in the archdiocese, yet her abuser was not on the list.

"Today was really disappointing," said Perez. She also said her daughter was abused in November 2018 and trying to get justice has been daunting.

"There are brick walls put up at every corner,” said Perez.

Another woman, who did not want to give her name, said she was abused by Father Manuel La Rosa Lopez, the Conroe-based priest who is the only one on the list of “credibly accused” clergy who is facing charges.

"I know that if the law was more involved, more people would come forward," said that victim. "I reported my case. It was reported in 2001 to the church with La Rosa Lopez, and it was reported again within the last ten years, and nothing was done."

The list of 42 clergy includes just one criminally-convicted priest. Another 19 of the priests listed are deceased, and many of those who are still alive are retired or were removed from ministry decades ago.

"I believe they are [covering up current cases,]" said Michael Norris with SNAP Houston. "That’s my belief and the data tells me that."

A look at the State of Illinois shows the archdioceses there released lists similar to what happened in Texas on Thursday, but when the Attorney General in that state followed up with an independent investigation, an additional 500 or more clergy were accused of sexually abusing children. Norris has been asking the Attorney General of Texas to do the same.

"I think we would see the same thing or probably twice that [if Ken Paxton got involved,]” said Norris. “I would call for the community to reach out and demand that we know the truth."

At the news conference on Thursday, Norris also demanded that the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston do a better job of protecting those who come forward as victims.

"The idea is that when an accuser comes forward, you remove that priest from ministry immediately," said Norris. "You get them away from children until the investigation is done and you determine whether it’s true or not. That’s not what this diocese is doing."

Adding to the fact that he believes the list of 42 "credibly accused" priests is vastly incomplete, Norris said he’s looking forward to a "real list" that he hopes the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office will release after seizing evidence at the archdiocese in November 2018.

SNAP advocates for victims of priest abuse said any survivor who did not see his or her abuser on the list released on Thursday and would like support should reach out to SNAP at SnapNetwork.org or 1-877-SNAP-HEALS.

HOUSTON (AP) - The cardinal who leads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops allowed a priest to celebrate Mass the same day his name was among those released on a list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo told the Rev. John T. Keller on Wednesday evening that he would be placed on administrative leave the next day, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said in a statement Friday.

DiNardo allowed Keller to lead the 9 a.m. Thursday Mass at his parish, the statement said, because Keller "was already scheduled to celebrate" it.

Hours later, Keller was listed among 40 members of the clergy as having been removed from ministry due to "recent allegations currently under investigation." Fourteen dioceses in Texas on Thursday named those credibly accused of abuse, identifying 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children.

Michael Norris, a member of the advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, accused DiNardo Friday of "waiting until the last minute to remove" Keller because he knew the case was getting media attention.

Letting Keller celebrate Mass on Thursday morning was "nonsense," Norris said.

"The idea is when you remove someone from ministry, you remove someone from ministry," Norris said. "You remove the accused immediately."

As head of the Catholic bishops, DiNardo has shaped the U.S. Catholic Church's response to the clergy abuse crisis and met with Pope Francis about the issue.

At the same time, his handling of cases in Houston has come under question. Another local priest, Rev. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, was charged in September with four counts of indecency with a child. Two people who said La Rosa-Lopez victimized them told The Associated Press that they felt DiNardo didn't do enough to stop La Rosa-Lopez, who was also on the list released Thursday.

DiNardo and the archdiocese said they recently received new allegations against Keller.

But allegations that Keller let a 16-year-old boy drink alcohol and then fondled him have been public since at least 2003, when The Dallas Morning News reported that Keller was ordered to undergo counseling "to ensure he is not at risk for any future inappropriate behavior."

According to the newspaper, Catholic officials in Houston said then that the conduct "did not fit for it to be identified as sexual abuse" and let Keller remain at his parish, Prince of Peace Catholic Community in northwest Houston.

CBS News broadcast an interview with the man in November and another interview Thursday with a second person who accused Keller of touching him inappropriately when he was 8.

The archdiocese declined to comment on Keller's case beyond its statement, in which it said it had reported allegations against Keller to civil authorities and that it encouraged victims to cooperate with any investigation.

Keller was still listed as Prince of Peace's pastor on the parish's website Friday.

HOUSTON (FOX 26) — The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston named 42 priests in a report of "clergy for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, substantiated or determined or considered to be credible."

Included in that number are two priests who have recent allegations under investigation or pending criminal charges. John T. Keller is listed as having recent allegations against him that are currently under investigation. The report says he was removed from ministry in 2019. Also included in the report is father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez who is currently charged with four counts of indecency with a child.

The report named 23 diocesan priests, 13 religious order priests, 4 extern priests from other dioceses.

The report is posted here: https://www.archgh.org/clergylist 

The following clergy members were named in report:

Clergy Disclosure List

Diocesan Priests

Nicholas Cornelius Antle

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:          1934
Ordained:           1959
Status:                Retired 1990
                           Removed from Ministry 2011
                           Deceased 2016

Robert Ralph Barzyk

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:          1932
Ordination:         1958
Status:               Retired 1993
                          Removed from Ministry 1994
                          Deceased 2007

David Emmett Burn

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:          1935
Ordained:           1961
Status:                Retired 1992
                           Removed from Ministry 1992
                           Deceased 2003

Moises Cabrera

Diocesan:           Tuguegarao, Philippines
                            Incardinated Galveston-Houston 1985
                            Incardinated Manila 1994
Birth Year :          1946
Ordained:            1969     
Status:                 Removed from Ministry 1988

Allen Ray Doga

Diocesan:            Galveston-Houston      
Birth Year:           1925     
Ordained:            1949     
Status:                 Deceased 1999

George Patrick Dougherty

Diocesan:            Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:           1925
Ordained:            1967
Status:                 Removed from Ministry 1996
                            Deceased 2002

Richard Edelin

Diocesan:            Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:           1953
Ordained:            1979
Status:                 Removed from Public Ministry 2013

Carlos (Charles) Guerra

Diocesan:          Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:         1953
Ordained:          1981
Status:               Removed from Ministry 1984
                           Left Priesthood 1987

Rodrigo J. Guillermo

Diocesan:          Manila, Philippines
                          Incardinated Galveston-Houston 1979 
Birth Year:         1928
Ordained:          1965
Status:               Retired 1994
                          Removed from Ministry 1994
                          Deceased 2015

Alphonse Rodrigue Hemond

Religious:          La Salette Fathers
                          Incardinated Galveston-Houston 1986
Birth Year:         1916
Ordained:          1949
Status:               Retired 1990
                          Deceased 1990

Stephen R. Horn

Diocesan:            Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:           1944
Ordained:            1973
Status:                 Removed from Ministry 2008  

William Jimenez   

Diocesan:            Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:           1927
Ordained:            1953
Status:                 Removed from Ministry 1959

Joseph Giles Leduc

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:          1929
Ordination:         1955
Status:                Deceased 1981

Jesse S. Linam

Diocesan:            Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:           1935
Ordained:            1961
Status:                 Retired 1998

Denis O. Lynch

Religious:         Discalced Carmelite
                         Incardinated Galveston-Houston 1972
Birth Year:        1930
Ordained:         1957     
Status:              Removed from Ministry 1993
                         Deceased 2015

Christopher J. Martin

Diocesan:          Galveston-Houston, Victoria
Birth Year:         1900
Ordained:          1924
Status:               Deceased 1989

Donald A.  Neumann

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:          1946
Ordination:         1972
Status:                Removed from Ministry 2013

Lawrence O. Peguero    

Diocesan:          Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:         1921     
Ordained:          1947     
Status:               Retired 1993
                          Deceased 2000

Dennis L. Peterson         

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:          1947     
Ordained:           1973     
Status:                Laicized 2005
                           Deceased 2007

Robert C. Ramon 

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:          1949     
Ordination:         1982     
Status:                Removed from Ministry 2002
                           Resigned from Priesthood 2002
                           Deceased 2014

Charles Kevin Schoppe  

Diocesan:            Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:           1925
Ordained:            1949
Status:                 Removed from Ministry & Retired 1992
                            Deceased 2014 

Anthony G. Stredny

Diocesan:           Nashville
                           Incardinated Galveston-Houston 1971
Birth Year:          1929
Ordination:         1957
Status:                Removed from Ministry 1993
                           Deceased 2018

Ivan Turic

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston

Birth Year:          1940

Ordination:         1968

Status:                Faculties Removed 1977

Religious Order Priests

Antonio Gonzalez, OMI

Religious:            Oblate
Birth Year:           1927
Ordained:            1957
Status:                 Left Priesthood 1985

Jack Hanna, CSB

Religious:            Basilian Fathers
Birth Year:           1944
Ordained:            1974
Status:                 Faculties Removed 2013 (Galveston-Houston)

Anthony Keil (Kyles), SSJ

Religious:            Josephite Fathers
Birth Year:           1894
Ordained:            Check OCD
Status:                 Deceased 1969

Dennis Laroche, MM

Religious:           Maryknoll
Birth Year:          1946     
Ordained:           1974     
Status:                Left Priesthood 1987

Pius Lawe, SVD

Religious            Divine Word Fathers
Birth Year:          1976
Ordained:           2005
Status:                Removed from Ministry 2009

Raphael O’Loughlin, CSB

Religious:            Basilian Fathers
Birth Year:           1916     
Ordained:            1942     
Status:                 Deceased 1998

Vincent Orlando, SJ

Religious:            Jesuit
Birth Year:           1941     
Ordained:            1974     
Status:                 Removed from Ministry 2002   

Walter Dayton Salisbury, SSJ

Religious:          Josephite Fathers
Ordained:          1959
Status:               Removed from Ministry 1993
                          Retired 1993

Christopher Joseph Springer, CSSR

Religious:           Redemptorist Fathers
Birth Year:          1925
Ordained:           1952
Status:                Laicized 1990

Donald Stavinoha, OMI

Religious:           Oblate
Birth Year:          1943
Ordination:         1970
Status:                Removed from Ministry 1986
                           Convicted 1988

Gerard Martin Weber, OMI

Religious:           Oblate
Birth Year:          1936     
Ordination:         1962     
Status:                Removed from Ministry 2011

John Benedict Weber, O.Carm.

Religious:           Carmelite
Status:                Removed from Ministry 2011   

Andrew Willemsen, CM

Religious:            Vincentian
                            (Later Incardinated Austin)
Birth Year:           1928     
Ordained:            1954     
Status:                 Deceased 2012

Extern Priests (from other dioceses)

Luis (Eugenio) Eugene DeFrancisco  

Diocesan:            Cali, Colombia  
Birth Year:           1908     
Ordained:            1931     
Status:                 Removed from Ministry 1960

Fernando Noe Guzman 

Diocesan:            Morelia, Mexico
Birth Year:           1951     
Ordained:            1979
Status:                 Removed from Ministry 1987

Francisco Ordonez

Diocesan:            Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Birth Year:           1930
Ordained:            1995     
Status:                 Removed from Ministry 2003

Joseph Tully

Diocesan:           Rockford
Ordination:         1925     
Status:                Retired 1971
                           Deceased 1982

**Special Category

Recent Allegations currently under investigation

** John T. Keller

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston      
Birth Year:          1948     
Ordination:         1974     
Status:                Removed from Ministry 2019

Criminal Charges Pending

**Manuel La Rosa Lopez

Diocesan:           Galveston-Houston
Birth Year:          1957     
Ordination:         1996     
Status:                Removed from Ministry 2001, 2018


The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is one of the archdioceses all over the country publishing names of the accused. 

Below are links to the other 14 within Texas.

Diocese of Amarillo       Diocese of Austin       Diocese of Beaumont       Diocese of Brownsville

Diocese of Corpus Christi       Diocese of Dallas       Diocese of El Paso       Diocese of Fort Worth

Diocese of Laredo       Diocese of Lubbock       Diocese of San Angelo       Archdiocese of San Antonio

Diocese of Tyler       Diocese of Victoria

Similar lists from other parts of the country have revealed hundreds of clergy accused of sex abuse.

People who've been abused and advocates fear the local list won't be complete.

In September, father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez was charged with four counts of indecency with a child in Montgomery County. He's accused of inappropriately touching a teen boy and girl in the late 90s and early 2000s when La Rosa-Lopez worked at Sacred Heart in Conroe. 

Local and federal authorities searched multiple sites in the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston looking for any information about his counseling or therapy services, specifically looking for information about treatment of sexual misconduct or rehabilitation. During that search, they seized 15 computers, 20 boxes of documents and copied server contents.

We're told since the September arrest, the archdiocese has been compiling a list of other clergy accused of sexual abuse from the Houston area. The church is supposed to maintain records of all complaints filed against clergy. They said they'd release that by the end of January which gets us to today.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston released this following letter:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston joins with other Catholic diocese of Texas to publish the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse or misconduct with minors since 1950. The list can be found on our archdiocesan website at www.archgh.org.

The Bishops of Texas have decided to release the names of these priests at this time because it is right and just and to offer healing and hope to those who have suffered. On behalf of all who have failed in this regard, I offer my sincerest apology. Our Church has been lacerated by this wound and we must take action to heal it.

The crime of sexual abuse of minors is a grave crisis in the Church. These sins have done great harm to the victims of the abuse and have deeply wounded the body of Christ, the Church. Those victimized by the clergy over the years need and deserve our prayers, outreach, and support.

As Archbishop of this local church, I extend my deepest regret for the harm that has been done. In multiple incidents over the years, the Church and her ministers failed to protect the most vulnerable souls entrusted to our care. There is no excuse for the actions of those credibly accused of such sins against the human person.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is committed to transparency and accountability for the actions of its ministers. It is my sincere hope that the publication of the names of credibly accused clergy will be a step forward to healing for those who have suffered in the wake of such actions. We humbly pledge to accompany them on that journey to wholeness and pray that God may bring them an awareness of his loving compassion.

It is my firm conviction that only the light of Christ can illuminate the path forward to such healing. I invite all the faithful of the Archdiocese to join me in seeking that light. All of our actions must be oriented toward the heart of the merciful and compassionate Savior.

There is a "Frequently Asked Questions" link on our website that further explains how the names were determined, how the review of the files was handled by an independent auditor, and other information about the list. We have done our best to make this report as accurate and complete as possible, but if anyone has additional information not contained herein, I invite you to bring it to the attention our Victim Assistance Coordinator, Diane Vines, at 713-654-5799. If additional information is received, the list will be updated as warranted. I urge anyone with knowledge of sexual abuse of minors to report it to the civil authorities immediately.

Since the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (the "Dallas Charter") was adopted in 2002, the number of credibly accused clergy reported cases has dropped significantly in Galveston-Houston and throughout our country. Our Safe Environment training, which is required for all clergy and lay volunteers in all of our parishes, schools, and institutions, has helped us to be more vigilant and created awareness of the scourge of sexual abuse in our society.

Still, the only acceptable number is zero. The protection and safeguarding of children is our highest priority in this local Church, and we look forward to partnering with all people of good will to see that such abuse is eliminated in our midst.

As sad as this day is for the Church, I am left with a spirit of gratitude for the courageous witness of the survivors of sexual abuse who have helped bring this painful history out of darkness in the light of Christ. I am grateful as well to the thousands of good and faithful priests who have served and continue to serve this local church with honor over the years. I pray that God will strengthen them to be messengers of his mercy. And I am grateful for the faithful parishioners who desire to see the Church be made whole.

Even in darkness, our hope is in the Lord. We pray that God will remake us evermore in his image so that in the light of truth we may make him known through our actions, words, and deeds. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, who stood witness at Calvary, lead us to the heart of her son and the promise of his resurrection to new life for all of God's children.

With blessings in the Lord, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston

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