Five cases of Catholic sex abuse settle in Chicago; SNAP calls for more action.

(For Immediate Release April 26, 2022) 

Five cases of Catholic sex abuse settle in Chicago; SNAP calls for more action.

Now that the Archdiocese of Chicago has agreed to settle five cases of Catholic sexual abuse for a combined $800,000, we urge Church officials to find others who may have been hurt by these men and may still be trapped in silence, shame, and self-blame.

We are grateful to the survivors of the four priests and an Irish Christian brother who stepped forward, sought justice, and exposed these perpetrators. We believe that other victims of sexual violence will feel vindication because of their courage, and we hope this settlement brings them some measure of healing.

One of the four priests involved in this settlement is Fr. George Clements, who went on leave in 2019 at age 87 as the Archdiocese investigated a sexual abuse allegation against him from 1974. Fr. Clements died of a stroke later that same year. The longtime priest also had four adopted sons, a first for an American priest and to us a possible red flag.

The settlement reportedly also referenced Brother Edward C. Courtney, who worked in all three Chicago-area Irish Christian Brothers high schools in the 1960s and 1970s as well as order-run schools in Michigan and Washington. The Chicago Sun-Times reported last year that Br. Courtney had been accused of being a “serial sexual predator” responsible for abusing more than 50 children.

While these five cases have settled, the work is far from over. We beg the Archdiocese of Chicago to update its list of abusive clergy members which has remained stagnant since June of 2021. In particular, Cardinal Blasé Cupich should make sure that the names of the other three priests that were part of this settlement are made public. In addition, if the Cardinal wants to be a real shepherd, he will use parish bulletins, church and archdiocesan websites, and pulpit announcements to urge anyone with information or suspicions about any abusive bishop, priest, deacon, brother, nun, church staffer or volunteer to come forward to secular authorities.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, [email protected]), Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]) Larry Antonsen, SNAP Leader Chicago, (773-255-3382, [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

 


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  • Michael McDonnell
    published this page in Media Statements 2022-04-26 16:57:54 -0500

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