Click here to read: “Chicago Archdiocese releases files on 36 abusive priests,” by Mary Wisniewski, Reuters, YahooNews.com, Nov. 6, 2014
The files, which were released online, and other documents released in January show how the archdiocese dealt with abuse allegations during the past six decades, including the practice of moving priests accused of abuse to new parishes.
As part of a mediation agreement, the archdiocese in January released files on 30 former priests accused of abusing minors. Lawyers for victims had said at the time they wanted the archdiocese to release documents on more than 30 other priests.
34 thoughts on “Chicago Archdiocese Releases Files On 36 Priests Who Sexually Abused Kids”
Peter Bowman was pastor at St. James for 17 years where my family worshipped for 30 years. Our 4 children attended 8 years in the parish school His name was on the 2002 list the archdiocese released but now there are more details. In 2002 I called the archdiocese about this and was told, “Oh, no. There were no allegations of abuse against him while at St. James.” Now I read that there were 2 such allegations during that time. Sickening. I may very well know those kids or my children may.
Sandra, I am sorry your children were exposed to this priest and then you were not told the facts when you inquired in 2002. It is chilling to read the accounts and place yourself and children anywhere near it..many of us have had that experience in Philadelphia with the release of the Grand Jury Reports and we are keeping the victims and the parishioners of the Chicago Archdiocese in our thoughts today.
“Oh No. There were no allegations of abuse against him at St. James.” I wonder how many parents in dioceses across the United States have been given similar statements of denial by Church officials or employees of the Church. The message seems to be your concern is unfounded, It is no big deal. In fact I believe that is the message the Church has been sending for years and continues to send to this day. The sexual abuse of children is no big deal.Their message is usually not sent verbally but through their actions. Nothing has changed in this regard since the abuse crisis exploded in Boston.
Don’t limit the secrecy over the centuries to the hierarchy, Jim. Innumerable “common priests” and “average nuns” were and are complicit in what was and is an all-encompassing culture of secrecy.
Kate: Not only were common priests and average nuns complicit in this culture of secrecy, so also were the Catholic laity and your average Catholic parent.When I was molested back in 1961, I went home and tried to tell my mother what had happened to me, she told me to forget it. Twenty eight years later, after I had managed to overcome my addiction to alcohol and after the memories of what happened to me in 1961 came rushing back into my mind, I went to talk to my mother. She had no memory of that horrible day, but she decided to go to her parish pastor who managed to convince her that I was making it all up because I didn’t like the Church or agree with its’ teachings. My mother was not a bad person. But because of her strict Catholic upbringing, she was incapable of questioning the leaders of her Church.Most of us who went to Catholic Church and Catholic schools were indoctrinated in their beliefs. Some of us[[although not easy ]have managed to overcome this brainwashing.Unfortunately most of the laity and parents of Catholic children continue to drink the Kool Aid.
Jim: The telling of your personal story is inspiration to many. Most you will never meet. Please keep telling it again and again. Thank You Alan
Jim, you are so correct. The clerical culture of secrecy utterly depended on the naiveté of the laity, among them our parents. My mother, too, had the “Father knows best” mentality. That’s changed, now. But back then, when my 5th grade class was forced to kneel for long periods and be relentlessly swatted with a fly swatter when a single student acted up, my mother’s response was, “You must have deserved it.” My experience pales in comparison to yours. But the fact that our mother’s didn’t listen, or act, or were assured by some cleric that all was well, certainly complicates the way we have experienced our hurts over the years.
I’ve always been floored by the nun-testimonies of others on this site. Their accounts have, for the most part, been kind and nurturing. All 13 of my brothers and sisters attended Catholic schools, all 13 attest to unkindness and abuse, and all 13 are no longer Catholics. Maybe there’s something in the water, here.
I’m sorry about what happened to you, Jim.
Permit me to add that it has always fascinated me that we were forced to kneel through our abuse… the juxtaposition of a faith-postion (kneeling) and abuse is mind boggling. Hard to wrap your head around it. Then and now.
Kate I have encountered two categories of nuns in my life..those who were very kind and nurturing like the nun Jim has described in past posts..the nun he ran to see at the convent on the day he was abused ,but she was not there. The other category are the nuns who are so angry and bitter that personally humiliating others seems to be a hobby. I have and continue to see both categories and it is such a divide.
When I was in grade school in the 70’s we had many young nuns who were very good and from what I know ,they have have all left the convent, some now married with families
I truly wonder how much information about the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests remains hidden by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. I am sure much of the documentation has been destroyed. But I also believe that the Church Hierarchy knows much more than they are letting on. Will the files of abusive priests ever be made public? As a victim, I don’t believe that this highly secretive organization will ever truly come clean.
Thanks Jim and I too do not believe the church will act on principles either, even moral principles. I sense the leadership is being boastful, swaggering “tough guys,” and obstructing others to prove they cannot be pushed around. They appear superior to others and this is not real strength. These leaders in the church appear to need to strike out aggressive at whatever threatens them. Tyrants they are, dangerous and weak, and especially dangerous.
The attitude is “my church, my authority, my leadership, my belief, right or wrong.” If they have to go to any length to uphold the group and “traditional values” this is a scapegoat justification. And sense the church has been challenged they seem to see this as attack on their authority, their beliefs and their way of life. Because of the authoritarian style in the church they are reacting to all outsiders whom they view as potential enemies. The leadership in the church needs to face the fact that anxiety is the problem and the hatred of others is its manifestation.
The church leadership has no realistic faith. If they did they would not turn against others. They embody the weakness and insecurities of fear in itself, no faith, and it will get uglier. Because they are not eliciting a punishment which reconciles them to the other the church is becoming the object of hatred and revenge. This could explode and causing worse harm to others. It seems we need to find faith in hell and the absurdity of human nature is brought to the light of day. The devil and the angel have met, painful and disturbing, and I assume, for God, nothing is lost. My faith needs to say that and I affirm your value Jim, faith in yourself.
Rev A Joseph Maskell ordered truck loads of documents buried in the church cemetery as he worked to avoid murder and child sexual abuse charges. 50 women and men where prepared to make statements in 1994 civil suit about sex rings with the catholic girls school involving priest, police officers and others. Suit was derailed over SOL technicality. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1994-08-10/news/1994222133_1_maskell-priest-holy-cross
A small group of former students and victims are working to keep the light on these crimes. See here for details. http://insidebaltimore.org/2014/10/01/did-the-catholic-church-get-away-with-murder-3/
Cases like this the FBI should have been called to investigate the police dept. Was this priest a mason? Too much of a corrupt network here.
Alan: Thank you for your message of support. Sometimes I get the feeling that I am beating a dead horse. I know I keep repeating my story and feel that others may get tired of hearing it. You make me feel that my story is worthy of repeating and does some good. I thank you for that.
I don’t think enough people have heard it enough. Please keep sharing.
When you turn on the light, cock roaches hightail it for the dark corners. Child predators are just like cock roaches. Their afraid of the light. Telling your story, is turning on the light…they can’t fight in the light……….Thank you for your courage.
.A three year old boy was tortured and killed last week in Chester County, outside of Philadelphia .His mother and her boyfriend were arrested and charged with his murder. The details of his torture are pretty horrific. He was tied to a chair and beaten He was also hung upside down and beaten .The abuse of children has been in the news a lot lately Adrian Peterson, the famous running back for the Minnesota Vikings was arrested and charged with abusing his four year old son.He punished him by beating him with a switch from a tree in his back yard. Pictures of the boy are hard to look at. Peterson argued that this was the way he was disciplined as a child and didn’t see it as abuse. Peterson has had quite a few people come to his defense. Their arguments run from the sublime to the ridiculous .The first line of reasoning is that their parents beat them and they turned out alright. The second line of reasoning is geographical. They are from the South and you Yankees just don’t understand that is just the way we raise our children .Maybe its something in the grits.They interviewed the grandmother of the boyfriend who tortured and killed the little three year old today on the local news. The grandmother said her grandson loved children and couldn’t have done what he was charged with.I seem to recall that most of the priests charged with abusing children also claimed to love children. Funny way to show it.. , .
Cardinal Francis George says the disclosure of 15,000 pages, which detail how the Church handled victims and accused priests, is part of an effort to “rebuild trust.” Really? I encourage people to read a fraction of the 15,000 pages. Doing so, for any decent and rational human being, will altogether obliterate one’s trust, if it isn’t already. What, we are to ignore the contents of the pages and rekindle our trust because the pages have been disclosed after years of failed efforts to solicit their disclosure? Transparency, and limited at that, cancels out content? Where is the SOL legislation that could ameliorate the shocking and corrupt content? Where are the concrete actions that end in justice for victims?
Interesting and unconscionable tango you guys keep dancing.
You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
Cyndi wrote it for the leadership of the Archdiocese of Chicago as well as many others throughout the USA.
There isn’t transparency when a release of documents is forced by “mediation.”
Oh Georgie….you sat on your documents and names for years…that isn’t transparency! That’s called LYING! Hedging your bets on the backs of victims. Shameful.
Enjoy your retirement.
ENTER Cupich STAGE LEFT.
Reminds me of Jesus in the Temple he made whips out of cords and told the moneychangers to”stop making my Father’s house a marketplace” as he forced them out. That’s the only way he could get through to them. Court is a last resort for many survivors but many times the only way to get a response from the church to correct the situation.
Reading all this it seems incredible that 2 years ago I was a familiar face at the local parish
Went to daily mass whenever possible, perpetual adoration, visited sick…. It seems like it was someone else’s life. I drive by the church and say to myself ” who was that person? What was she thinking? “. All my social contacts are severed as they all revolved around parish life. I feel like a part of me was amputated as it became gangrenous when I faced the truth my abuse and the realization of what happened to the other victims of my perp and all the other perps. Now trying to grow a new stronger limb and not lean on a broken crutch of a church
suzpt, wow, this is powerful when you say, “Now trying to grow a new stronger limb and not lean on a broken crutch of a church.” I am shocked how the catholic church deceived me. And when I write deceit I do not mean the church was lying, rather I am speaking about the church not being completely honest and real with everyone. It is like they are caught in a trance that the church people believe will make them acceptable to others. It feels like the church is identifying with a particular image that they believe would be more acceptable. I even feel the church has learned to develop their image that can be package and sold, rather than what is authentic. The church rejects authenticity and is deceiving themselves into an “improved and polished” picture of themselves. This self image is who they actually are, an identity that is acceptable and worthwhile.
For me, I also was involved with the church trying to make myself real and valuable. I too was deceiving myself into believing in my importance. I had to make myself more valuable, important, brilliant, and worthwhile. I can see now I was investing energies in building myself up in my self image. I am even became concerned with doing whatever I believed would make me feel more worthwhile. I no longer lean on a “broken crutch of a church,” like you are saying, yet I am also shocked about my emptiness from within.
This emptiness makes me feel edgy and like I am walking off the edge of the world. Nothingness/emptiness offers no ability to rest in hope and it offers no support. So it seems to me to counteract the terror and despair my faith needs to make a leap into the unknown. This is no more becoming a particular image or idea of myself. This leap of faith is I cannot do anything to be myself. This faith feels like there are no concepts or beliefs here, but just a direct experience of the Supreme Being. It feels like I am learning to simply rest in and being.
There may be certain clarity here and a more transparent Presence we are all growing toward. Yet I will also say I still have my mental states or reactivity, mechanical thinking, feeling states of deep alienation, and everything in between. The web of my illusions about the church and even my own illusions about myself has almost made God into an intolerable idea. It did not make sense to believe in something or someone I cannot understand. Yet what I read, this desert or nothingness, becomes everything. The emptiness gradually begins to identify within the center, within Essence, and we become guided by Divine awareness.
“Be still and know I am God” is this awareness. This is to say, you simply being genuinely you appears to be God from within you. Nothing else satisfies and the church needs to realize no matter how many saints they pile up this does not create a profound connection with people. Complete truthfulness is all that will satisfy and anything other than simple truth is absurd. And I will say truth is shocking and to me is why we need church community to support us in this truth, but hell no it seems God wants to stretch us to the furthest limits. Church is now shock value and forcing me to leap from the known to the unknown. Maybe together we can see through this deceit, transform ourselves into an underlying depth of faith and create clarity. Your truth and your presence is my hope!
“Do you not know you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple God will destroy that person ;for the temple of God which you are is holy” 1Cor You made me think of these verses.
I believe your meaning from this Scripture verse is coming from your center and is respecting our center from each of us. The words “temple of God which you are is holy” appears to be your own sanctuary of peace and it offers your own enormous dignity to all of us. It feels right to say your receptivity to the Holy of Holies within you is your contemplative side. It is a sense of wonder and seems to be your awareness of your true worth Beth, offering your satisfying awareness to all of us. Thank you Beth and your presence is a significant gift to all of us.
Syd, I so enjoy your wisdom! You words come from a place of spiritual enlightment. You have found your center, your true self. In this divine place, one finds truth and in this truth is peace. The Divine lives in us all, in my contemplative moments I am able to embrace that Divine part of me. It is truly a gift I treasure. To be awaken to this gift God does indeed “stretch us to the furthest limits”. Thank you Syd for sharing your gift.
You are welcome Vicky. I am surprised how true faith moves beyond any beliefs and learned procedures. This faith is also like rays of light and warmth from the sun. The Holy Spirit is felt and is experienced. She appears like you are describing. You express, “The Divine lives in us all, in my contemplative moments I am able to embrace that Divine part of me.” Your word moments and embrace are not separate from each other. It feels like you are accepting the conditions you are working with and trusting what the moment offers you. Your ability to embrace the moment feels like you are present and awake to your inner serenity. It feels like your contemplative faith even is now a letting go.
My faith is moved into serenity and I am now learning the full extent of letting go, especially releasing my unrealistic expectations. This faith taps the inner spring of courage, is an unshakable confidence and is “given.” Naturally there is a part of me that struggles with this transcendent faith because it has its own value without reference to anything or anyone. This faith is relaxing and is teaching me to let go of my limited ego perspective. This serenity becoming faith is letting go and is grounded in the real rather than the ideal.
Letting go is faith itself and there is no achievement here. This feels strange and yet faith says there is no other. This is all a strange language and communicates it is everything. This moment is enough. This faith truly is a leap into the unknown and makes me feel edgy. I assume the edginess is because I am leaving my ego identity behind. I am filtering lots of raw material into an opening here and it appears faith becomes self-surrender so profound it has mystical overtones. It is just a place to begin.
Sociopaths- Clergy Rank 8th
“What better way to fulfill your God complex than become one his messengers? If you embody and speak for the higher forces of the universe, people’s admiration and congregation around you will constantly stroke the darkest portions of your vanity — at least until they catch you abusing children. It’s no wonder religions have veered away from monastic humility towards gaudy temples of lavish gold and marble.”
Its interesting lawyers, civil servants and clergy are all on that list no wonder its so hard to get laws changed in PA..
Can you pray for me I really need them.Thanks.
I just want you to know I appreciate your faith in asking us to pray for you, Beth. Your request is being done for you. I also want you to know your faith is real Beth and may your faith be your inner support. May your faith offer you this unshakable confidence and may your faith be experienced as your strength. Your faith is like the sun Beth and may you feel its strength, support, and warmth.
I have an idea what you might be going through. Know that you can email and/or call, I’m here. Prayers said by any survivor is readily heard by God. You, my friend, are in my prayers.
Prayers coming your way! Beth.