Documents Reveal Decades Of Child Abuse Among Some Chicago Priests
January 23, 2014 Comments Off on Documents Reveal Decades Of Child Abuse Among Some Chicago Priests
Documents Reveal Decades Of Child Abuse Among Some Chicago Priests by David Schaper January 21, 2014
Papers documenting allegation of sexual abuse by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese were released to the public today by victims’ attorneys. The documents cover only 30 of at least 65 priests for whom the Chicago church says it has substantiated claims of child abuse. The papers, put online, were made available through settlements between Church and victims’ lawyers. Church officials said most of the abuse occurred before 1988, none after 1996, and that all were ultimately reported to authorities.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
We have new revelations today detailing decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Chicago. Thousands of pages of documents, released by victims’ attorneys, show how the church hierarchy mishandled accusations of abuse.
NPR’s David Schaper reports.
DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: The documents tell one heartbreaking story after another – 6,000 pages detailing not just how children and adult victims were abused by trusted priests, but also how church officials often bungled their responses, failing to turn sexual predators over to criminal authorities and often shuttling the offending priests from parish to parish, where they abused again….
SCHAPER: That deception, says Anderson, came from the cardinal on down. And he says not only were the victims and their families deceived, but so too were parishioners where offending priests were transferred, as well as the police and the public at large. In one case in 1979, a priest raped a 13-year old boy and later warned him at gunpoint not to tell anyone. The documents show the boy’s parents were assured that the priest would get treatment and would be kept away from minors, but he wasn’t. Within a year, that priest was returned to ministry in another parish where he abused again.
In another case, the late Cardinal John Cody tells a priest accused of sexually abusing a girl that the allegations, quote, “should just be forgotten,” adding that no good can come of trying to prove or disprove it. That priest later abused again….
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.