Archdiocese of Chicago Releases Decades of Clerical Abuse Documents
On Thursday morning, the Archdiocese of Chicago released approximately 15,000 pages of documents related to 36 Archdiocesan priests with substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors. Watch Brandis Friedman's web extra interviews below.
Of the documents released Thursday, 92 percent involve cases that occurred prior to 1998. Fourteen of the priests are deceased.
These documents are in addition to those released in January, which pertained to 30 other priests. Altogether, these documents cover all the priests with substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors, with the exception of two cases where the ongoing process does not allow for release.
Of the 36 priests covered in the documents, none currently serve in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago, in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Charter states no priest with one substantiated sexual abuse of a minor allegation can serve in public ministry.
“As we said in January, we are committed to transparency with the people we serve,” said Francis Cardinal George, OMI, in a news release. “We cannot change the past but we hope we can rebuild trust through honest and open dialogue. Child abuse is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese of Chicago is concerned first and foremost with bringing healing to abuse victims.”
In determining which documents could be released, the Archdiocese followed a review process that protects victim privacy, complies with legal restrictions against publishing mental health and medical information, and protects the privacy of third-party individuals mentioned in the documents, but not involved in the abuse.
The documents concern the following priests:
|Alexander S. Baranowski*||James V. Flosi||Robert J. McDonald|
|Richard B. Bartz||Robert D. Friese||Peter J. McNamara|
|Leonard A. Bogdan||Jesus P. Garza||Gary M. Miller|
|R. Peter Bowman*||John E. Hefferan||Donald J. Mulsoff*|
|David F. Braun*||James Hoder||James M. Ray|
|Daniel P. Buck||Michael J. Hogan||John A. Robinson|
|Eugene P. Burns*||Walter E. Huppenbauer||John F. Rohrich|
|John W. Calicott||Robert L. Kealy||Joseph E. Savage*|
|Norman J. Czajka*||John J. Keehan||Albert(o) Tanghal*|
|Walter G. DeRoeck||John J. Keough||Richard G. Theisen*|
|Francis E. Dilla*||Leonard P. Kmak*||Joseph S. Thomas*|
|Richard W. Fassbinder*||William L. Lupo||Anthony J. Vader*|
In response to the release of these documents, David Clohessy, director of SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), released a statement, noting that: "Every time clergy sex crimes and cover ups are discussed, kids are safer. But for an institution to hide these records for decades or years – leaving police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public in the dark, and leaving kids in harms’ way – is stunningly irresponsible. This information could and should have been revealed years ago. Lives could have been saved. Crimes could have been prevented. Families could have been preserved. Instead, Cardinal Francis George and dozens of his clerical colleagues have, for years, opted to put their reputations and comfort ahead of the safety of children." Read Clohessy’s full statement.
Brandis Friedman spoke with Barbara Blaine of SNAP Chicago. Watch the web extra interview.
Friedman also spoke with Jan Slattery of Office for the Protection of Children & Youth, Archdiocese of Chicago. Watch that interview below.