Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=226570
Story Retrieval Date: 3/8/2014 1:28:36 AM CST
SNAP activist, Barbara Dorris, holds signs of clergy sex abuse victims Wednesday outside the Chicago Archdiocese.
Activists urge archdiocese to 'come clean' on child sex abusers
Activists gathered outside the Archdiocese of Chicago Wednesday, demanding Cardinal Francis George be transparent and “come clean.” They say he is deliberately concealing the identities of roughly one-third of all child molesting clerics who work or have worked in his archdiocese.
“We urge Cardinal George to disclose the names, photos, work histories and personnel records of all child molesting Catholic clerics,” said Kate Bochte, spokeswoman for The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP. “Not just those that are sued. Not just those on the archdiocesan payroll. All of them. Anything less is selfish and irresponsible.”
The archdiocese said Wednesday that he would release 6,000 documents explaining what he knows of the decades of clergy sex abuse and how the church handled them as he endeavors to “bring healing to the victims and their families.” The documents are expected to identify 30 former clergy members accused of sex abuse.
“What they are releasing now is nothing more than what they were forced to do,” said David Rudofski, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse and longtime member of SNAP. “This was not of their own accord. These are all from settlements.
“They need to do this for other perpetrators that are out there and not just because their hand is forced to do it. This is all about saving and protecting children.”
Rudofski won a settlement in 2013 against Diocese of Joliet who were forced to turn over 7,000 concealed documents.
Barbara Dorris, victims outreach director for SNAP, said that Cardinal George is doing the bare minimum.
“He has fought the release of these records for eight years. He has done hairsplitting,” Dorris said. “He’s not revealing the names of any of the religious order priests who have worked in his diocese or under his supervision. And yet he says, ‘I have no responsibility about them.’”
Dorris applauds the victims for stepping forward, revealing their abuse and wisely working within the court system. However, she worries about other predators who have not yet been revealed.
“These predators are equally dangerous and are still living with the community,” she said. “This is not doing everything possible to protect children.”
Bochte challenged George by saying, “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.”