IL - Priest is investigated about abuse
- Archdiocese has put him "on restriction"
- He's accused of molesting a girl in the 1970s
- SNAP blasts Cardinal for not suspending cleric
- And group says he "continues secrecy & recklessness"
- Private email from church official to victim is released
- George is also blasted for new agreement with lawyers
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will disclose that
- a Chicago priest – who has never been publicly accused before - allegedly molested a girl,
- the archdiocese admits, in writing, that it has put "restrictions" on him, but
- did so without warning parents, parishioners or the public and have not suspended him, and
- are keeping him listed in the parish bulletin and on the parish website.
They will also blast an agreement announced this week in which church officials are keeping records about predator priests secret unless forced to disclose them when facing civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits.
WHEN:Wednesday, August 31 at 1:30 pm.
WHERE:Outside of the Archdiocese of Chicago chancery office, 835 N. Rush St. (north of Chicago Ave)
WHO:2-4 members of an independent support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
WHY:SNAP has recently learned that Fr. George W. Klein of St. Philip the Apostle parish, was accused of sexually abusing a girl when he was a principal at the St. Benedict High School.
SNAP will also release a private email to Klein’s victim from Leah McCluskey, who heads the archdiocesan Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review. In it, McCluskey apologizes "for any confusion during our meeting on August 12" and says that Klein now has "restrictions placed upon him," and is not to "be alone with anyone under the age of 18 unless a responsible adult is present," and "may not engage in any teaching or instructive functions with any minors." (McClusky can be reached at 312-534-5205 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
The victim met with church staffers on Aug. 12 but the archdiocesan employee says it is still investigating. SNAP, however, believes the archdiocese should have honored its pledges to promptly suspend accused priests and be "open and transparent" about the allegations against Klein.
SNAP is especially concerned because there is a school on the premises of St. Philip the Apostle that serves the needs of learning and developmentally disabled children.
Earlier this week, the archdiocese announced that several victims, represented by St. Paul MN attorney Jeff Anderson, had settled their child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits. As part of that agreement, church officials promised to release documents about only those predator priests who are sued by Anderson. SNAP believes that the archdiocese should make public records about all child molesting clerics, regardless of whether they’ve been sued.
According to church sources, Fr. Klein attended St. Pascal School and worked at St. Gregory the Great (1959-65), St. Benedict High School (1965-82), Queen of Angels (1982-83) St. Monica (1983-90), St. Joseph (1990-96) and St. Francis Xavier (1996-2004) - the latter two in Wilmette. He has also worked at St. Philip the Apostle in Northfield and at St. Monica since 2004. He was a member of the Archdiocesan Priests’ Senate and president of the Archdiocesan Association of Catholic Secondary Schools.
Klein is believed to have worked temporarily at a number of local parishes in recent years. He’s still listed on the St Philip website and in the St. Philip weekly bulletin handed out at masses.
CONTACT:Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003