IL - Group asks Chicago Cardinal to tell full truth, protect all kids

For immediate release: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Statement by SNAP spokesman Kate Bochte 630 768 1860 (cell),[email protected]

Chicago Cardinal Francis George must answer two simple questions. First, why not disclose the names and the records of ALL Chicago child molesting clerics, whether they’ve been sued or not and whether he’s been forced to or not. And second, why not disclose the names and records of dozens of Chicago child molesting religious order clerics (Jesuits, Marianists, etc.) like 14 of his colleagues have done?

He claims he’s “committed” to “transparency.”

But he deliberately protects the roughly 1/3 of all child molesting clerics who work or have worked in his archdiocese by hiding their identities.

In 2010, Chicago native Bishop Gerald Kicanas, who heads the Tucson diocese, told the New York Times that excluding religious order priests from predator priest lists “doesn’t seem appropriate … Our goal is to demonstrate to the person harmed that the church understood their pain and the harm that had been done to them, and to get as many victims as possible to come forward."

We urged Cardinal George to disclose the names, photos, work histories and personnel records of all child molesting Catholic clerics. Not just those that are sued. Not just those on the archdiocesan payroll. All of them. Anything less is selfish and irresponsible.

He should stop burnishing his image. He should start protecting his flock.

He should stop splitting hairs. He should start acting responsibly.

He should stop pledging “transparency” and start practicing transparency.

He should stop disclosing when forced and start disclosing voluntarily.

We’re a support group. We have a tiny staff. We have no investigators. We certainly have no subpoena powers.

Yet over the past few months, largely just using the internet, we’ve found nine  proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting Catholic clerics who worked in Chicago, and mostly molested elsewhere but have for the most part virtually never been “outed” in the Chicago area.

Most belong or belonged to religious orders. Some are still alive. And they’re dangerous. Parishioners, parents and the public need to know about them. And since Cardinal George has given these clerics access to Chicago kids, he has a duty to warn unsuspecting families about them.

Religious order clerics always work in dioceses, often alongside diocesan clerics, often at diocesan facilities that get diocesan support. And nearly every child they molest is a member of a diocesan flock.

So stop being disingenuous Cardinal George. Tell the truth, the full truth. Protect all kids, not some kids. And expose all child molesting clerics, regardless of which Catholic official signs their paychecks.

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

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant