IL- Meeting tonight re accused priest
New archbishop keeps ignoring victims
Twice, SNAP has asked Cupich to discuss cleric
But new Chicago archbishop won’t even reply to them
Priest is still in a parish now, despite two child sex accusations
Roughly 20 parishioners & victims will share what they know about “troubling situation”
Disappointed that Chicago’s new archbishop continues to ignore their invitations, clergy sex abuse victims and concerned Catholics will hold an open “town hall meeting” about a twice-accused predator priest who is still on the job in a local parish.
TONIGHT - Thursday, Jan. 22 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Belmont Public Library (1659 W. Melrose Street Chicago 60657; 312-744-0166).
Concerned congregants and members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Twice SNAP has invited new Archbishop Blase Cupich to a town-hall meeting to educate and warn church-goers about a twice-accused priest working in their parish. The event will be held tonight, regardless of whether Cupich responds or not.
SNAP also wants Cupich to:
1) Suspend Fr. Michael W. O’Connell from his post at St. Alphonsus, and
2) Personally visit St. Alphonsus and Our Lady of the Woods (Orland Park) and beg anyone who may have information or suspicions about crimes or misdeeds by Fr. O’Connell to call police.
Fr. O’Connell was the subject of a criminal child sex abuse investigation and is accused of abusing two boys, in separate incidents.
Fr. O’Connell was temporarily suspended in December 2013 after the archdiocese received an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a boy at Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park years earlier. In April of this year, Cardinal Francis George reinstated Fr. O’Connell even though the Cook County Sheriff’s Department never closed the criminal case.
Weeks later, new allegations surfaced involving alleged abuse of a different boy in the 1990s.
Authorities have put the investigation on and archdiocesan officials are keeping Fr. O’Connell on the job. Catholic officials claim O’Connell is to avoid the parish school and will not be alone with a child, a contention that SNAP calls “ludicrous and dangerous.”
Kate Bochte, SNAP Leader- 630-768-1860
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.