Predator ex-priest works as counselor
He’s accused of molesting at least five kids
And he’s now at Advocate health care center
SNAP wants Chicago archdiocese to explain this
Group wants “answers and action” about pedophile
It begs George to disclose whereabouts of other child molesting clerics
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse survivors and their supporters will
--disclose that an ex-Chicago archdiocesan priest who’s accused of sexually assaulting at least five kids now works at an Advocate health care facility,
--prod his employer to remove him, and
--beg anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to “protect kids, call police, expose wrongdoing and start healing.”
They will also urge Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George to reveal where all of the dozens of proven, admitted and credibly accused Chicago pedophile priests now live and/or work. And they’ll deliver a letter to George – and send one to the health care facility – about the ex-priest.
TODAY, Thursday, May 9 at 1:15 p.m.
Outside the Chicago Archdiocese headquarters, Archbishop Quigley Center, 835 N. Rush Street, Chicago, IL
Two-three members of an international support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including a woman who is the organization’s founder
SNAP has recently learned that a former Chicago archdiocesan priest, Russell Lawrence Romano,now works as a counselor for Advocate Health Care. Romano is accused of molesting at least five boys and is listed on the Chicago Archdiocese website as a “a cleric with substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors.”
Russell works for Advocate in the Illinois Professional Health Program (IPHP), a publicly funded treatment program for Illinois health care professionals. Its offices are located at 701 Lee Street, Suite 100, Des Plaines, IL (847 795 2810). It’s directly across the street from a now-closed Catholic school that, SNAP believes, is still used for Catholic education.
On “LinkedIn,” a “Russ Romano” is identified as a “case manager at Advocate Health Care.”
“We know that both the Archdiocese and Advocate were informed nearly two years ago that Russell Romano was working as a counselor. Yet, sadly, today the victims of this predator are asking “why he is still employed?”We want him fired immediately,” said SNAP’s Barbara Blaine. “We want to know whether the Archdiocese shared this information with Advocate and if Advocate, when it learned of Romano’s past, contacted the Archdiocese. Either way, we are looking for answers on how a known predator gets to work as a licensed counselor in Illinois.”
SNAP also wants to know what information the archdiocese provides to prospective employers about credible child sex abuse allegations against current or former archdiocesan priests.
SNAP is also urging Cardinal Francis George to “aggressively seek out” others who were hurt by Romano and use archdiocesan and parish resources to alert current and former parishioners about the allegations against him. The group also wants George to disclose the whereabouts of all proven, admitted and credibly accused clerics who live/lived or work/worked in the archdiocese (even temporarily).
Romano was ordained in 1973 and he reportedly resigned his priesthood in 1991, although the archdiocese announced the fact largely hidden until 2006. That year, as part of a settlement of clergy sex abuse lawsuits, Catholic officials published a partial list of accused priests. Romano’s name was on it.
At least one civil lawsuit against him was settled by the archdiocese in 2009.
According to news reports, Romano worked at St. Leonard Parish, Berwyn; St. Barbara Parish, Brookfield; and as a teacher at Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Chicago.
A photo of Romano is available at Bishopaccountability.org. According to public records, he currently lives in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
Romano is one of six accused priests who worked at one Chicago parish - St. Leonard’s at 3318 Clarence Ave. in Berwyn. (The others are Fr. Gary M. Miller (1980s), Fr. Kenneth Ruge (1979-85), Fr. Alberto Tanghal-Rimando 1995-96), Fr. Richard Gregory Theisen, and Fr. Howard Sturm.)
Some of Romano’s victims are represented by Chicago attorney Marc Pearlman (312 261 4554, firstname.lastname@example.org) who has handled hundreds of child sex cases in the Chicagoland area.