IL- Victims appeal to priests
SNAP: "Ignore Cardinal George's letter
Instead, victims want predators' names read aloud
And they blast church officials for keeping McCormack records sealed
“It’s self-serving for George to hide files that will show the real truth,”
And group charges that a third of Chicago’s child molesting clerics are
still not revealed
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will urge Chicago area priests to
--NOT read or distribute at masses this weekend a letter about clergy sex abuse written by Cardinal Francis George, and
--read or distribute instead, for the sake of public safety, the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused Chicago child molesting clerics.
They will also criticize George for
--keeping records about the Fr. Daniel McCormack case hidden,
--posting fewer than one third of the names of Chicago’s child molesting clerics on his website.
TODAY, Thursday, Jan. 9 at 1:30 p.m.
Outside on the sidewalk in front of Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N State St (corner of State and Superior) in Chicago
Two-five members and supporters of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (SNAPnetwork.org) the nation's largest support network for men and women abused in religious and institutional settings
Yesterday, the Chicago archdiocese announced that a letter from Cardinal Francis George will be handed out at masses this weekend. The move is being taken because next week George is being forced to turn over records about 30 Chicago predator priests to victims’ attorneys. Soon thereafter, those records will be made public.
According to WLS TV, it is “a PR war of sorts,” with George “trying to get his story out before another round of unflattering information emerges about the handling of priest sex abuse allegations.”
SNAP says the letter is “self-serving and deceitful.” The organization is asking all Chicago priests to disobey their boss and not read or distribute it. Instead, SNAP is asking them to read or hand out the names of proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics. That will help safeguard kids and deter cover ups, victims feel, not sharing George’s
“excuses and finger pointing” with parishioners.
And SNAP maintains that George is “hypocritical” because he “talks about transparency” yet has successfully kept key records about the Fr. Daniel McCormack case – the one most embarrassing to him – under seal so no one can see them. SNAP wants those documents unsealed so parents, parishioners and the public can learn “the full truth about the cover up of his horrific case.”
George’s list of roughly 65 predator priests is here:
However, a list of 121 Chicago predator priests – compiled through public records by an independent organization – is here: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/lists.htm
Several years ago, again because victims insisted on it when settling their lawsuits, George posted a partial list of Chicago predator priests. He includes, however, only archdiocesan clerics, ignoring the roughly one third of all priests who have worked in the Chicago area who belong to religious orders (like Jesuits, Marianists, Benedictines, et al). It doesn’t matter which Catholic official signs a child molesting cleric’s paycheck, SNAP contends. What matters is whether a child molesting cleric lived or worked in Chicago and had or has access to Chicago Catholic kids.
SNAP says that the Archdiocese has never put someone on the list based on suspicions or investigations it has done. It is always because of a victim coming forward and making a detailed report to the diocese. It has never done anything proactive in that regard.
And SNAP says that George implies that he posted the predators’ names voluntarily. SNAP wants him to make it clear that the revelations were forced upon the archdiocese by “brave and compassionate victims who were determined to do all they can to prevent future clergy sex crimes and cover ups.”
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com, David Clohessy 314 566 9790,
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.
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.