IL--New archbishop ignores victims
Cupich has been in office for two months now
Group has twice invited him to a town hall meeting
Victims are disappointed that he refuses to respond
On anniversary of his installation they’ll leaflet outside church
SNAP: Cleric is still in a parish despite two child sex accusations
Group will hand fliers to mass-goers inviting them to attend an open meeting
On the two month anniversary of the new archbishop’s installation, clergy sex abuse victims and concerned Catholics will hand fliers to church-goers urging them – and him – to come to a “town hall meeting” about a twice-accused predator priest who is still on the job.
Sunday, January 18, 2015 at11:30 a.m.
Outside St Alphonsus Church (1429 West Wellington Avenue, Chicago)
Four to five 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 Thursday, January 22, regardless of whether Cupich responds or not. http://www.snapnetwork.org/snap_to_cupich_come_meet_with_us
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.”
The “town hall meeting” will be this Thu, Jan 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Belmont Public Library (659 West Melrose Street, 312 744 0166).
Kate Bochte, SNAP Leader- 630-768-1860