SNAP to Cupich: “Come meet with us”

SNAP to Cupich: “Come meet with us”

SNAP to Cupich: “Come meet with us”

Group wants “town hall” event about cleric

He’s on the job despite two child sex accusations

And police have a pending investigation into him

Group will hand fliers to mass-goers inviting them too

 

WHAT:

As Chicago’s new archbishop says mass at a local parish, concerned Catholics and clergy sex abuse victims will hand fliers to church-goers urging them – and the archbishop - to attend a “town hall meeting” about a twice-accused predator priest who is still on the job despite a pending criminal investigation into the allegations. They will also prod the archbishop to

--temporarily suspend the accused child molesting cleric,

--go next weekend to a parish where the accused priest works now, and

--discipline all archdiocesan staff who have let the priest stay in the parish.

WHEN:

Sunday, Dec.  7, 11:00 a.m.

 

WHERE:

Outside St. Clement’s Catholic Church (642 W Deming Pl, Chicago, IL 60614).

 

WHO:

Four to five members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

 

 

WHY:

Victims of sex abuse by priests and concerned Catholics will pass out fliers to church-goers where new Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich is saying mass. They want Cupich to:

 

1) Suspend Fr. Michael W. O’Connell from his post at St. Alphonsus parish (at 1429 W. Wellington Ave., just 1.5 miles away from St. Clement)

2) Attend a “town hall meeting” later this week SNAP is holding about the situation.

3) Personally visit St. Alphonsus and beg anyone who may have information or suspicions about crimes or misdeeds by Fr. O’Connell to call police.

Fr. O’Connell is the subject of a pending criminal child sex abuse investigation and is accused by two men of molesting them, in separate incidents, as boys.

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 and police continue to investigate. Today, however, 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 held Thursday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Belmont Public Library (659 West Melrose Street, Chicago, IL 60657; (312) 744-0166).

 

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

CONTACT

Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747bblaine@snapnetwork.org; David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Kate Bochte 630-768-1860

 

Read the first letter of invitation to Archbishop Cupich for the Town Hall Meeting.

Comments

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  • commented 2014-12-07 17:40:41 -0600
    I hope that Archbishop Cupich has the wisdom to remove Fr Michael O’Connell from all active ministry. From what I understand, Fr O’Connell has sexually abused at least one boy, maybe 2 boys, at a gym. Therefore, the children at the parish are not the only children at risk from sexual abuse by him. The police need time to investigate all allegations against Fr O’Connell.
    Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, M.D., M.Spir.