Church to release sex files on Chicago clergy

2014-01-15 11:04
Cardinal Francis George who plans to release files on former Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children. (Michael Sohn, AP)

Cardinal Francis George who plans to release files on former Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children. (Michael Sohn, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Child Abuse
    Provides readers with a wealth of information on topics of current interest. Now R526.95
    buy now

Chicago - The Archdiocese of Chicago will hand over thousands of pages of documents involving clergy sex abuse on Wednesday to victims' attorneys, who will make them public next week as part of a years-long attempt to hold the church accountable for how it handled abuse allegations, including concealing crimes and putting priests in a position to continue molesting children.

The nation's third-largest archdiocese agreed to release the files as part of settlements with abuse victims, and will include complaints, personnel documents and other files for about 30 priests with substantiated abuse allegations.

The documents are similar to disclosures made in other dioceses in the US in recent years that showed how the church shielded priests and failed to report child sex abuse to authorities. Chicago officials said most of the abuse occurred before 1988 and none after 1996.

"Until there is public disclosure and transparency there is no way people can learn about it and make sure it does not happen again", said Chicago attorney Marc Pearlman, who has represented about 200 abuse victims of clergy abuse in the Chicago area. He said he has been working to get the church to release the documents since 2005.

Archdiocese spokesperson Susan Burritt said neither Cardinal Francis George nor archdiocese attorneys were available for comment on Tuesday.

Millions in settlements

George, who has led the archdiocese since 1997, released a letter to parishioners on Sunday in which he apologised for the abuse and said releasing the records "raises transparency to a new level". He also stressed that much of the abuse occurred decades ago, before he became archbishop.

"I apologise to all those who have been harmed by these crimes and this scandal, the victims themselves, most certainly, but also rank and file Catholics who have been shamed by the actions of some priests and bishops", George wrote to parishioners.

George said all of the incidents were reported to civil authorities and resulted in settlements with victims.

In fact, the archdiocese has paid millions of dollars to settle sexual abuse claims, including those against Father Daniel McCormack, who was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to abusing five children while he was parish priest at St Agatha Catholic Church and a teacher at a Catholic school. The next year, the archdiocese agreed to pay $12.6m to 16 victims of sexual abuse by priests, including McCormack.

Many of the accused priests are dead, and the documents will include only 30 of 65 priests for whom the archdiocese says it has credible allegations of abuse.

Even so, victims and their lawyers said publicising the documents is crucial to shedding light on how the archdiocese handled accusations against priests, some of whom were moved from parish to parish after they were accused of molesting children and to help victims and the Catholic Church as a whole heal and move forward.

- AP

Read more on:    us  |  child abuse  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.