IL - Chicago Jesuit is accused of molesting in Michigan

For immediate release, Friday November 15, 2013

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director, 314-862-7688 [email protected]

The Chicago Jesuit hierarchy is handling the new case of credible child sex abuse allegations against a priest who molested a Michigan boy.

The Marquette Michigan diocese says it has received and deemed credible an accusation that Father Bernard (“Fr. Ben”) Van der molested a boy in 1989 while substituting for a vacationing Marquette priest.

The Chicago Jesuits are at 2050 N. Clark St., Chicago IL 60614 (800) 922-5327

Michigan Catholic officials are urging victims to call church figures. That's wrong. Anyone who sees, suspects or suffers child sex crimes should call secular officials not church officials

Father Van der Schueren is dead. He can't be prosecuted. But some of his peers or supervisors might be, especially if they destroyed evidence, intimidated witnesses, hid crimes or refused to report suspicions of child sexual abuse to law enforcement. So it's critical that anyone with knowledge or suspicions about wrongdoing here to call police and prosecutors 

We applaud this brave victim for stepping forward. We hope his courage inspires others who are suffering in shame, silence and self-blame to do likewise. Staying silent hurts worse than stepping forward.

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])

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