Top US cardinal removed priest day before abuse list issued

Crux | 2/2/2019 | Staff
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HOUSTON - 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 Father 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 - Keller - Thursday - Mass - Parish

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 - Member - Advocacy - Group

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.

Idea - Someone - Ministry - Someone - Ministry

“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...
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