Catholic priest Manuel LaRosa-Lopez was arrested Tuesday by police in Conroe, Texas on sexual abuse charges. Now two victims are claiming that they reported LaRosa-Lopez to Houston-Galveston’s Archbisop Daniel Dinardo, who is the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The victims claim they reported the priest and met with Cardinal DiNardo. One of them says she was promised in a meeting with DiNardo, several years after she first reported abuse, that the priest would be removed from any contact with children, only to discover that the priest remained in active ministry at another parish 70 miles away.

The priest’s arrest and allegations that DiNardo kept an abusive priest around children cast a shadow over a Thursday summit at the Vatican between Pope Francis and American bishops and cardinals. DiNardo is leading the delegation, putting him in the position of having to fend off abuse allegations in his own diocese while at the same time calling on the pope to get tougher on clergy abuse.

Wednesday afternoon, the Archdiocese released the following statement:

In 2001, a then-16 year old girl and her family notified this Archdiocese that Fr. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez had kissed and touched her inappropriately when he was assigned as Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart in Conroe. We immediately referred this information to Children’s Protective Services for further investigation.

Father La Rosa-Lopez denied touching the girl inappropriately, and the girl’s family decided not to pursue the matter, relocating out of the country that same year. After an internal review, including presentation of the above allegations to the newly founded Archdiocesan Review Board in 2003, Father La Rosa-Lopez was permitted to return to parish ministry in 2004.

Arrest warrant for Manuel LaRosa-Lopez:

Manuel LaRosa-Lopez arrest … by on Scribd

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