Local News

Chicago Archdiocese priest sex abuse records released to public

Attorneys publicly released the files Tuesday on 30 Archdiocese of Chicago priests accused of sexually abusing children.

The 6,000 pages of church documentation date back more than 40 years during a time when the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin and current Francis Cardinal George were heads of the Chicago Archdiocese.


The documents show a pattern of secrecy and concern about activities that involved as many as 30 priests.

Chicago Archdiocese releases documents related to sex abuse scandalOne set of files includes a deposition of Cardinal George who responded this way to a question from the plaintiffs’ attorney, Jeff Anderson:
Q: “And you know enough about this topic now to know that once a cleric or an adult offends a child once that they’re at risk for re-offending?”
A:  “That’s true.”
Q: “You’ve come to know that?”
A: “Yes, I have, sir.”

The Cardinal was asked if the attorney for the Archdiocese ever told him who the offending priests were.  He was asked…
Q: “At that time, did he tell you what clerics who had been accused of abusing and found to have been credibly accused of abusing a minor were still in ministry?”
A:  “He did.”
Q:  “How many were there?”
A:  “There were, I believe, eight.”

The Cardinal was asked when he became aware of possible abuses.  He answers, “When I came to Chicago, the Chicago system was regarded with great respect and the rules permitted someone, with proper precautions in place to protect children, to continue that situation.  I was told it was working well and I had not had time to change it before 2002.”

The Cardinal was asked about the more damaging cases he was aware of.  He said, “The one egregious time when the protections of children failed to our great shame was the McCormack case where I had thought he was being supervised and it wasn’t adequate.”   Former priest Daniel McCormack was convicted of sexually abusing children and some of his cases are still pending in court.

At one point the cross-examination of the Cardinal became very intense when he was questioned by the attorney about priest after priest who re-offended while under the Church’s monitoring program.

Since Cardinal George been head of the Chicago archdiocese, 33 priests have been removed.

Church officials say they are concerned for those who suffered, and regret the mistakes made by the Archdiocese.

Tune into WGN-TV and http://wgntv.com for continuous coverage


3 Comments to “Chicago Archdiocese priest sex abuse records released to public”

    Zack said:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    All these guys are phedophiles

    SNAPJudy said:
    January 21, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    How has Cardinal George slept at night, while keeping these 'Gut-Wrenching' Chicago clergy abuse files a secret?
    Thanks to the brave victims for their determination to get these secret documents released to the public. Kids are safer today because of their courage.

    And the tragic part is that the sex abuse and cover up within the church hierarchy throughout the world is still going on to this day. Cardinals and bishops are still not removing accused predator clergy, and they are still not reporting to law enforcement. Their so called "zero tolerance" policy is not being followed by the bishops who created it. They don't have to, because there is no punishment to force the bishops to change their ways of protecting their image and the institution rather than protecting children.

    This past week the UN interrogation of Vatican officials showed just how much corruption is still kept secret. They claimed they are powerless over child predator priests. And yet the next day the Vatican admitted to defrocking 400 priests for child sex abuse in a two year period.
    The Vatican is NOT powerless over child predator priests or defrocking bishops and cardinals who cover up these horrific crimes against innocent kids. Until high ranking church officials are held accountable by outside law enforcement for their crimes against humanity, nothing will change and children are still being sexually abused within this archaic secret institution.

    Silence is not an option anymore, it only hurts and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones,
    "SNAP" the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,

    keeping real said:
    January 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    never trust NO ONE with your kids!!…

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