Victims blast top Chicago official
Victims blast top Chicago official
SNAP: Dangerous predators still being hidden
Cardinal ‘splits hairs’ & keeps abusive clergy off his list
“He sets a terrible example to other bishops,” they say
Cupich’s peers in Illinois & across the US disclose more
And, SNAP charges, he lets his flock intimidate victims
After a sidewalk news conference, at which they’ll hold signs and childhood pix, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand-deliver a letter to Chicago’s top Catholic officials urging him to
-- disclose the names of child molesting religious order clerics who are or have been in the Chicago area which he’s learned about in the past three years but is keeping secret,
--forbid a local parish from “publicly and hurtfully” backing a controversial, high profile priest who faces three abuse accusations, and
--let victims & parishoners hold an open public meeting at the parish to help teach church-goers about appropriate ways of privately supporting their pastor without intimidating other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers.
Thursday, April 22 at 1:30 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Chicago archdiocesan headquarters at 835 N. Rush Street (corner of Pearson)
Three-four victims and advocates who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Chicago man who is the group's executive director
---1) For weeks, Cupich has essentially stayed silent while parishioners have rallied loudly around Fr. Michael Pfleger, a high-profile priest who faces three accusers.
By tolerating such public displays of support, Cupich is making it harder for others who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes to come forward, SNAP says.
The group wants Cupich to set up an open public discussion involving SNAP and St. Sabina church-goers. SNAP also wants Cupich to educate his entire flock on the appropriate way to respond when accusations surface, so as to not “contribute to an oppressive, anti-victim culture that intimidates victims, witnesses and whistleblowers “trapped in silence and fear, thus putting more kids at risk.”
“It’s immoral for Cupich to play ‘good cop,’ above the fray, while letting parishioners be ‘bad cops,’ doing and saying hurtful things that scare other victims into keeping quiet,” said Zac Hiner of SNAP.
The group wants Cupich and/or Chicago pastors to distribute post SNAP’s flier “What to do when your priest is accused.”
---2) Among the heads of nearly 200 US Catholic dioceses, Chicago’s Cardinal Blasé Cupich is unique. He’s the only prelate, as best SNAP can tell, who collects information about religious order child molesters but hides it.
In February, the Sun Times reported that Cupich is getting information about all abusive religious order clerics who are or were in the Chicago area.
But last month, the Sun Times reported that Cupich refuses to share those names publicly or add them to his ‘accused’ abusers list on the archdiocesan website.
That means that roughly 1/3 of all predator priests who are or were in the Chicago archdiocese “remain largely under the radar,” SNAP says, which “leaves hundreds of predators largely hidden and thousands of kids at risk of horrific crimes.”
Four of the nine largest US archdioceses DO include religious order clerics on their ‘accused’ lists (Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit and Houston).
Most Illinois dioceses DO include religious order clerics (Belleville, Peoria, Rockford and Joliet).
And there are at least 150 more religious orders in the US, many of which have or had clerics in Chicagoland.
When Boston’s top prelate refused to post the names of roughly 70 religious order offenders, the Globe wrote that the decision “undercuts his reputation as a reformer.”
Jefferson City MO Bishop Shawn McKnight has told religious orders that the “must commit to releasing the names of all their credibly accused members in order to continue serving in the diocese.
The head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ abuse committee, Kansas City MO Bishop James Johnston, also includes religious order clerics on his ‘accused’ list.
Of the roughly 150 US Catholic religious orders only 24 of them have posted predators’ names.
The Vincentians, for example (who run DePaul University) have released a list of their offenders. Their abusive clerics who have worked in Chicago include Fr. Warren Discon, Fr. Francis Murphy, Fr. Daniel Schulte and Fr. Thomas Parrott.
Cupich’s predecessor, Cardinal Francis George, belonged to a religious order, the Belleville IL-based Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate), which HAS released a list of ‘accused’ abusers.
The Sun Times calls religious orders “semi-autonomous” noting that while Cupich “has little direct authority” over them, he can “deny their clerics ri+ghts to minister here.”
(Inexplicably, Cupich includes just two credibly accused religious order offenders on his website: Fr. Eusebio Pantoja and Fr. Carlos Peralta.)