Victims lawyers say Chicago Archdiocese needs to be more transparent with abuse scandal

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Last week, the Chicago Archdiocese released 36 more names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Today, lawyers representing victims in some cases say they're disturbed and alarmed about what has not been released.

Two lawyers who say they have been challenging the church on this issue for decades say it's happening in other cities, but not in Chicago. They want the Chicago Archdiocese to unseal all the files and allow for a more thorough review of cases that have dogged the church and its reputation for too long.

They say the numbers are grossly underreported and the release of only 36 more namesis reckless.

Over the years, Boston has named 300 cleric offenders. Los Angeles has named 266. To date, in Chicago the number totals 66.

Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman who are representing victims call that figure alarmingly low and deeply disturbing.

“Until we are given the opportunity to go through every file, every offender accused and credibly accused, we can't be comfortable that the public knows what it needs to know,” Anderson said.

The list of names was produced by top church officials with the help of an archdiocese hired lawyer and a mediator if they needed one, according to the victims' lawyers, with no third party, outside scrutiny. The lawyers call it an inside job.

With archbishop Blase Cupich now one week away from picking up where Cardinal George left off, the changing of the guard far from erases the priest sex abuse scandal that's been percolating for years. The lawyer team hopes Cupich will approach it differently and truthfully ,they say.

“Our view is we will greet him with an open hand,” Anderson said. “Invite him to a new day and a new way."


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