Cardinal Daniel DiNardo was recovering from a “mild stroke” in a hospital in Houston Saturday, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
The 69-year-old cardinal was taken to the hospital Friday night, the statement said. He was expected to remain there for a few days, before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility.
He was resting comfortably Saturday and talking with doctors and nurses, the statement said.
“With so much to do, I am looking forward to getting back to work as soon as possible,” DiNardo said in a prepared statement.
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DiNardo, archbishop of the diocese and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been under increasing pressure in recent months to address how the church handles allegations of child sex abuse.
State and local law enforcement officials raided the archdiocese’s offices in an hours-long search in November, looking for information related to priests accused of child abuse.
In January, the archdiocese released a long-awaited list of priests who were “credibly accused” of child sex abuse, a list that some victims said fell short. It included the names of two priests, Manuel La Rosa-Lopez and John Keller, currently under investigation.
DiNardo in a November op-ed in the Houston Chronicle had pledged to handle the problems with transparency.
In a second op-ed published this year, he wrote, “[W]e can and must do better.”
The archdiocese includes 1.7 million Catholics. Hearing the news of his hospitalization, people began to post on social media that they were praying for his full recovery.
DiNardo was born in Ohio and grew up around Pittsburgh. He was ordained a priest in 1977 in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and became bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, twenty years later.
The church leader, praised for his commanding speech and penchant for storytelling, moved to Houston in 2004 and became cardinal in 2007.
The bishops of Texas late Saturday offered their prayers and support to DiNardo.
Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, along with the other bishops, released a statement asking people to pray for “his healing as well as asking God’s guidance for the medical professionals who are caring for the cardinal. The bishops of Texas look forward to his full recovery and his return to his leadership responsibilities soon.”
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