IL- Victims to leaflet outside cathedral

Victims to leaflet outside cathedral

They tell Catholics “Spread predators’ names

And “Read documents to be released next week

SNAP advises parishioners to “Ignore George’s spin

And it blasts church officials for keeping McCormack records sealed

Group charges that 1/3 of Chicago’s child molesting clerics are still hidden 

WHAT

As parishioners enter/leave mass, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will hand out fliers urging Chicago area Catholics to ignore a letter about clergy sex abuse written by Cardinal Francis George being read this weekend, and instead, to

--Circulate among friends and family the names of local child molesting clerics,

--Ask people if they saw, suspected or suffered crimes by those clerics, and

--Especially focus on religious order clerics, since the archdiocese refuses to list them.

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.

WHEN

Sunday, Jan. 12 at 11:45 p.m.

WHERE

On the sidewalk in front of Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N State St. (corner of Superior) in Chicago

WHO         

Two-three 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

WHY

Over the last few years, dozens of “brave, compassionate and determined” Chicago clergy sex abuse victims have insisted that long-secret church documents about 30 predator priests be publicly released as part of settling clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuits.

Those records will be released next week. As a public relations move before that forced disclosure, Cardinal Francis George is insisting that priests read a letter from him at all parishes this weekend.

But SNAP says that letter is “deceptive and self-serving.” The group wants Catholics to 1) ignore it 2) read the actual records when they are made public, and 3) ask everyone they know if they were molested by any of the 121 Chicagoland area child molesting Catholic priests, nuns and seminarians and brothers listed on a website called BishopAccountability.org

Chicago Catholic officials list a much shorter list of proven, admitted and credibly accused sex offender clergy on its website. But SNAP is critical of that list, in part because George refuses to list religious order clerics (like Jesuits and Marianists) on it. Roughly one third of all priests who work in the archdiocese belong to one of the hundreds of religious orders in the US.

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 also 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.”

With his letter this weekend, George is “trying to get his story out before another round of unflattering information emerges about the handling of priest sex abuse allegations,” according to WLS TV.

Last week, SNAP asked all Chicago priests to disobey their boss and not read or distribute it. Instead, SNAP asked 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.

George’s list of roughly 65 predator priests is here:

http://www.archchicago.org/c_s_abuse/report_032006/list.pdf

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

CONTACT

Kate Bochte keight@sbcglobal.net, 630 768 1860, Rosemary McHugh rosemary@gmail.com, 630 484 0777, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

  

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