Letter sent to parishioners ahead of archdiocese report on abuse

Catholics who attended Mass in the archdiocese of Chicago today, received a special letter from Cardinal George in their church bulletins.

In the letter. Cardinal George apologizes to victims of abuse in the church and to catholics who may have been shamed by their actions.

“It’s always important to tell the truth and since the publication of diocese and events happening before I got here, I thought I ought to put it in perspective and that was the purpose of the letter,” he said outside St Irenaue Parish in Park Forest.

This week, the Archdiocese of Chicago will release a report detailing sexual abuse involving 30 offenders and 40 victims. It’s being handed over to attorneys suing the archdiocese and is about 8 years in the making.

Cardinal George says in his letter to parishioners:

“Painful though publicly reviewing the past may be, it is part of the accountability and transparency to which the archdiocese is committed… .it will be helpful, we pray, for some, but painful for many.”

At Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, members of the organization SNAP,  the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, passed out separate leaflet urging parishioners to ignore Cardinal George’s letter saying it’s self-serving.

The report detailing the abuse will be released on January 15th but members of the public won’t be able to see it for about a week after to give time for lawyers to put it in a readable format and make sure victims are properly protected.

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