Survivors make new allegations after Archdiocese releases list

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The stories of abuse within Houston-area Catholic churches continue to be shared in the wake of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston releasing a list of 42 clergy credibly accused of child sex abuse.

"It's very difficult to get a phone call from a 65-year-old man weeping and crying about this," said Michael Norris, the local leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "That's the kind of pain that survivors are going through."

Norris held a press conference at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Thursday, an hour after the list was released.

His public announcement was to offer support for victims in the wake of the list being released.

RELATED: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo releases names of clergy accused of sex abuse

"Shortly after the press conference yesterday, I got a phone call," said Norris. "I got my first phone call, so it was quick."

Within hours, Norris says survivors called in allegations against five other clergy not on the list.

"There's a lot of emotions that are coming up, and there's anger about the fact that their perpetrator is not on the list."

Of the new allegations he received, only one was against a priest who is still alive and currently working in a Houston church.



RELATED: Everything you need to know about the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Norris says the victim, now an adult woman, is working to report her case with police.

"It happened in 2011," said Norris. "Cardinal DiNardo is aware of this and has allowed this priest to continue on."

Norris is calling on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to open a state-wide investigation and start a hotline number.

"There's a lot of victims out there who haven't gone to the church," Norris said. "That information needs to be captured, and there needs to be a safe way for that to happen."

RELATED: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo speaks with ABC13

Paxton addressed the release of accused clergy from all 15 dioceses in Texas. The lists total nearly 300 names.

Paxton sent a letter offering support and assistance with individual investigations, but did not address opening up a state-wide investigation.

When asked if the Harris County District Attorney's Office planned to open an investigation ABC13 was sent this statement:

"We stand ready to receive actionable evidence from any investigating agency that amounts to probable cause. If and when that occurs, we will identify the appropriate charges to pursue."

The SNAP organization is urging anyone who may need support to contact them to visit their website.

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