Posts Tagged Chicago Archdiocese

No one is monitoring former abusive priests / National Catholic Reporter

“Many abusive priests, like the one above, have voluntarily left or been removed from the priesthood, which begs the question, who is monitoring them now? The answer: nobody.”

The parents of boys who accused a priest of sexual abuse wrote to the Chicago Archdiocese more than two decades ago: ‘Your repeatedly asking ‘what do we want’? is one more insult. ‘What we want’ should be totally obvious. We want something done about these priests.’

“Next week, June 15, marks the 25th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s announcement of the intent to create a review board to remove priests, such as the one mentioned by the parents. While publicly available files clearly document that church officials knew about the priest’s behavior since at least the late 1980s, they did not report him to the authorities or remove him from ministry.

“It was not until 2005 that the priest resigned from being a pastor and moved to a ‘monitored’ setting. Two years afterwards, the priest had a young relative stay in his bedroom overnight while the priest’s monitor was out of the country. After this incident occurred, the archdiocese began the process of laicization, or removing him from the priesthood.

“Many abusive priests, like the one above, have voluntarily left or been removed from the priesthood, which begs the question, who is monitoring them now? The answer: nobody.”

By Nicole Sotelo, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Pope Francis names 17 new cardinals, including three Americans / The New York Times

Pope Francis on Sunday (Oct. 9) named 17 new cardinals, including three Americans, adding prelates from developing countries to give them a greater voice in selecting the next pope. Francis’ American appointments elevate moderates in the church hierarchy, bypassing doctrinal conservatives from large archdioceses.

“The three Americans, the most Francis named from any one country, are Archbishops Blase J. Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis and a former Dallas bishop, Kevin Farrell, whom Francis recently reassigned to the Vatican to lead a new department for family, laity and life. Francis had skipped over the United States in two previous rounds of appointments.

“The pope announced the new cardinals from the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica at the end of a special Mass on Sunday, saying their diversity represents ‘the universality of the church’ and ‘the mercy of God in every corner of the world.’ He said he will elevate the cardinals on Nov. 19.”

By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story, and click here to read, “Pope Francis’ cardinal choices bring surprises,” by David Gibson, Religion News Service

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Chicago archdiocese releasing child sex abuse files on 36 more priests / Chicago Tribune

Cardinal Francis George on Thursday said  the public release of the internal files of 36 priests accused of sexually abusing children shows the church’s ‘commitment to transparency’ in one of the most disturbing chapters in the Roman Catholic Church’s history.

“In a statement on the church’s website announcing the release of some 15,000 pages of once-secret documents, George said the Archdiocese of Chicago was ‘concerned first and foremost with bringing healing to abuse victims …’

“The January files, made public as part of a settlement with victims, provided fresh details into how, for decades, the nation’s third-largest archdiocese quietly transferred accused priests from parish to parish, and how church officials failed to tell law enforcement about accusations that priests had sexually abused boys and girls.”

By Christy Gutowski, Todd Lighty, Chicago Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Vatican Analysts: Pope Francis’ Choice for Next Chicago Archbishop a Bellwether for U.S. Church / Associated Press

When he turned 75, Cardinal Francis George did what the Roman Catholic Church expects of its bishops. He submitted his resignation so the pope could decide how much longer the cardinal would serve.

“George said he hoped Pope Benedict XVI would keep him on as Chicago archbishop for two or three more years. ‘But, it’s up to him, finally,’ George told WLS-TV in Chicago.

“Two years and one surprise papal retirement later, the decision now belongs to Pope Francis. The pontiff’s choice will be closely watched as his first major appointment in the U.S., and the clearest indication yet of the direction he will steer American church leaders.”

By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press, in Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this article.

Voice of the Faithful® provides on its website a Bishop Selection Primer, a two-page summary of the VOTF model for lay input into bishop selection

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In Files, a History of Sexual Abuse by Priests in the Chicago Archdiocese / The New York Times

One priest, the Rev. William J. Cloutier, was accused of raping a boy in his summer cottage, locking the door when the 13-year-old started screaming, and then brandishing a handgun while threatening to kill him if he told anyone. Another, the Rev. Robert C. Becker, would take boys to a trailer where, they said, he slept beside them and molested them. And the Rev. Joseph R. Bennett was accused of raping a girl with the handle of a paten, a plate used to hold eucharistic bread.

Thousands of documents gleaned from the personnel files of the Archdiocese of Chicago were released to the public on Tuesday, unspooling a lurid history of abuse by priests and halting responses from bishops in the country’s third-largest archdiocese. In each case, the priests ultimately died or were ousted from ministry, and in most cases, the allegations were never proved in a criminal court. But the documents suggest that church officials were at times quite solicitous toward priests accused of abuse.” By Steven Yaccino and Michael Paulson, The New York Times

Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Disclosure of Systemic Coverup and Additional Sexual Abuse of Children in Chicago Archdiocese

And so begins the disclosure of systemic coverup and additional sexual abuse of children in the Chicago Archdiocese, along with the excuses or minimizing of current hierarchical officials, some of whom are complicit in the pattern of coverup. Will this be another round of ho-hum responses by people in the pews, or might they wake up to what one survivor told Pope Benedict was a cancer in the body of the Church.  But for the courage of survivors and the legal advocacy on their behalf, the Church hierarchy in Chicago and around the world would be spinning the same denials as they have been for the last 12 years. — Bill Casey, former Voice of the Faithful® Board of Trustees Chair

“Thousands of pages of secret church documents released Tuesday (Jan. 21) as part of a court settlement provide an unprecedented and gut-wrenching look at how the Archdiocese of Chicago for years failed to protect children from abusive priests.

“The documents provide new details and insights into how the nation’s third-largest archdiocese quietly shuttled accused priests from parish to parish and failed to notify police of child abuse allegations. The paper trail, going back decades, also portrays painfully slow progress toward reform, accountability and openness.” By Manya Brachear Pashman, Christy Gutowski and Todd Lighty, Chicago Tribune

Click here to read the rest of this article, “New Abuse Documents Detail Chicago Archdiocese Missteps.”

“After a 13-year-old boy reported in 1979 that a priest raped and threatened him at gunpoint to keep quiet, the Archdiocese of Chicago assured the boy’s parents that, although the cleric avoided prosecution, he would receive treatment and have no further contact with minors.

“But the Rev. William Cloutier, who already had been accused of molesting other children, was returned to ministry a year later and went on to abuse again before he resigned in 1993, two years after the boy’s parents filed a lawsuit. Officials took no action against Cloutier over his earliest transgressions because he “sounded repentant,” according to internal archdiocese documents released Tuesday (Jan. 21) that show how the archdiocese tried to contain a mounting scandal over child sexual abuse.” By Tammy Webber, Associated Press, in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Click here to read the rest of this article, “Chicago Archdiocese Hid Decades of Child Abuse.”

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Will Chicago Priest Abuse Files Made Public Jan. 12 Show Evidence of Coverup?

As part of a court settlement, the Archdiocese of Chicago plans to release church files on former Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children. Cardinal Francis George made the announcement in a letter to priests that will be published Sunday (Jan. 12) in church bulletins. In it, he acknowledges mistakes in the church’s response to the allegations, but says there was no cover-up.” By Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle. Click here to read the rest of this article.

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