For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Cardinal Francis George is being deliberately deceitful and insulting the intelligence of Chicago Catholic officials. He claims that he can’t stop a priest from counseling grieving adults and kids for a police department.
Specifically, through one of his public relations staffers, that he “has no authority to remove” Fr. Robert Stepek from his job in Burbank.
Cardinal George can, of course, assign a priest to all kinds of jobs – in a parish, school, hospital, cemetery or chancery office. But he says he can’t prevent a priest from working in a secular job. Nonsense.
He’s a Cardinal. He heads the third largest archdiocese in America. He’s the former head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. He helps pick the pope. But despite all this, in reality, he would have us believe that he’s powerless over one of his own priests. This defies common sense.
Imagine a Chicago priest working for “The Coalition for Assisted Suicide” or “Chicago Catholics for Gay Marriage” or “Citizens For the Death Penalty.” Now imagine Cardinal George shrugging his shoulders and claiming “Sorry, I’m powerless.”
Imagine any boss or supervisor saying “I’m paying this employee but I have no control over him at all.”
It’s the height of arrogance, deceit and recklessness for Chicago top Catholic official to insist he can’t stop a suspended, credibly accused child molesting cleric from counseling grieving adults and kids for a police department.
Cardinal George should order Fr. Stepek to quit the Burbank job. He should order Fr. Stepek into a treatment center. He should order his public relations staff to do everything in their power to publicize the credible child sex abuse allegations against Fr. Stepek and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police so that Fr. Stepek might be charged, convicted and imprisoned so he won’t be able to hurt more kids in the future.