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Church Leader Meeting With Pope Accused of Ignoring Abuse

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been accused by two people of dismissing sexual-abuse claims against a priest who was arrested this week, the Associated Press reported. One accuser says that DiNardo promised her the priest, Manual LaRosa-Lopez, would no longer have contact with children, but she later found out that he’d been moved to another parish. LaRosa-Lopez was arrested Tuesday and charged with four counts of indecency with a child. He allegedly fondled a teen boy and girl while he was the priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe, Texas. At one point, he was moved to St. John Fisher Catholic Church in Richmond, where he had contact with children. In a statement, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston confirmed that two people reported abuse to DiNardo, one in 2001 and another last month. They said the incidents were reported to Child Protective Services. A man who went to DiNardo in August with his claims said the cardinal’s tone was “dismissive.” This comes as DiNardo is set to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican this week, where they will discuss the “growing church abuse crisis.”