Abuse victims await list of accused Catholic priests

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Survivors of alleged sexual abuse, along with their supporters, gathered in Montrose on Thursday night.

The gathering came just days before a list of credibly-accused priests is supposed to be released by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

"First of all, I don't expect them to report them all," said Michael Norris, who says he is a survivor of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest.

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He is the leader of the Houston chapter of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"What we'll find is it will be a low number, that's what I'm expecting," Norris said. "They won't put everyone on that list. There's a lot of order priests that come through this diocese that won't be on that list."

In November, law enforcement took thousands of pages of documents following a search warrant on the Archdiocese offices.

The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office is overseeing the case of Father Manuel La Rosa Lopez. He's charged with four counts of indecency with a child.

SEE ALSO: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo's computer seized during search at Galveston-Houston Archdiocese

Two victims allege they were sexually abused as children while at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe in the late 1990s to early 2000s. La Rosa Lopez was last assigned to a church in Richmond before being arrested.

It could be next year before La Rosa Lopez goes to trial as thousands of documents are being evaluated.

"I know there are a lot of people watching this thinking we're going to uncover a large amount of smoking guns in other investigations, and I don't know that that will be the case," said J. Tyler Dunman, with the district attorney's Special Crimes Bureau. "We're obviously not going to turn something into nothing. If the evidence is there, we will push it as far as it can go."

One of the survivors in the room was one of two accusers for which La Rosa Lopez is charged.

She said La Rosa Lopez apologized to her years ago when she first came forward to the church.

During a meeting with Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo, she says La Rosa Lopez was crying while saying, "I'm so sorry."

She claims the cardinal witnessed the tearful apology.

"He allowed this priest to continue in his ministry for over three months after his third accusation that the church knew about. Third accusation. So a three-time accused pedophile was allowed to be around, unfettered access to children for over three months. And Cardinal Di Nardo claims that he followed the protocol?" said Michal Norris.

ABC13 reached out to the Archdiocese, but due to the late meeting, they have not yet responded.

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