IL--Ex-Chicago priest may plead guilty in Michigan today
For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 25
A Catholic priest who was arrested in Chicago and was at Loyola University may plead guilty today in Detroit to “secretly recording” teenagers in a locker room there.
(NOTE: This is a different priest than the one just arrested on child porn charges in Arlington Heights.)
Sadly, the priest, Fr. Richard James Kurtz, pled guilty earlier to sexually assaulting a child in Colorado. The question now is: What will Chicago’s archbishop do to find and help others he may have hurt?
If history is any guide, we suspect that Archbishop Blasé Cupich will do little or nothing. And (just like we are doing with in the new case of accused Arlington Heights sex offender Fr. Clovis Vilchez-Parra) we beg Cupich to get out from behind his desk, overrule his timid lawyers, and act like a real shepherd. We beg him to help law enforcement get Fr. Kurtz locked up for as long as possible by helping to bring forward other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers.
Imagine Cupich holding a news conference at Loyola and saying “Look, for centuries, our church hierarchy has enabled sex offender clergy to escape prosecution. I can’t un-do this awful history. But I can try right now to help make sure that Fr. Kurtz is successfully prosecuted and kept away from kids. That’s why I’m here: to insist that you call law enforcement if you saw, suspected or suffered crimes by him.”
Regardless of what Cupich does or doesn’t do, we in SNAP urge anyone with information or suspicions that might help law enforcement with the Fr. Kurtz case to speak up. Silence helps only those who commit or conceal heinous crimes against kids.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.