Catholics who attended mass in the Archdiocese of Chicago received a special letter from Cardinal George in their church bulletins Sunday.
In the letter the Cardinal apologizes to victims of abuse in the church.
Cardinal George gave mass at St. Irenaeus parish in Park Forest. He didn’t mention it, but his letter was sitting inside the bulletin.
“It’s always important to tell the truth and since the publication of events that happened before I got here is going to be an occasion for a lot of conversation,” said Cardinal George. “I thought I ought to put it in perspective and that was the purpose of the letter.”
This week the Archdiocese of Chicago will release a report detailing sexual abuse involving 30 offenders and 40 victims.
That will be handed over to attorneys suing the archdiocese.
“Painful though publicly reviewing the past may be, it is part of the accountability and transparency to which the archdiocese is committed,” read the Cardinal’s letter. “It will be helpful, we pray, for some, but painful for many.”
At Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, members of SNAP, also known as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, passed out separate flyers.
Their letters urged parishioners to ignore Cardinal George’s letter because it’s self-serving.
“He did leave Daniel McCormick in ministry knowing he was accused, said SNAP member Kate Bochte. ” He does have direct responsibility for what happend to boys at that parish.”
Daniel McCormack is the former priest who made headlines for years with accusations of sexual abuse, and was eventually prosecuted, while under Cardinal George’s watch.
“Sometimes people think we all knew everything about him before and he was wreckless and that wasn’t true,” said the Cardinal. “He deceived a lot of people.”
In his letter, Cardinal George says, “Neither in Chicago nor in any previous posting, as a bishop or a religious superior, have I assigned to pastoral ministry, or transferred for ministry, a priest whom I knew to have sexually abused a child.”
The Archdiocese report detailing the abuse will be released on January 15, but the public won’t see it for several days after.