To all Civic: Social: Political: Religious
Community: and Cultural Editors
From Wanda Carter 773-899-8237
Monday, October 11, 2010 at 1:00pm
Hotel Palomar 505 North State Street Exhibition Room
6th floor next to elevators
Archdiocese of Chicago Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Assignment Patterns
More than 250 Chicago parishes had accused priests: That’s almost 60% of all Catholic churches in the area
Five year study of clerical work histories shows stunning results: New data prove that many were sent to lower income communities
Volunteers painstakingly compiling 97 alleged predators’ assignment records: Groups want parents to ask loved ones “Did any of these clerics ever hurt you?”
At a news conference, concerned Catholics and clergy sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss a new study/statistical analysis showing that:
—256 of the Chicago archdiocese‘s roughly 400 parishes have, at one time, had an accused pedophile priest working there,
— 30 parishes had two or more alleged predator priests assigned to them at one time, and
— a disproportionate percentage of parishes in lower income neighborhoods had accused priests working at them.
The victims and Catholics will urge current and former church members to ask their relatives and friends if they were sexually violated by clergy and, if so, to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect children and start healing.
Monday, Oct. 11, 1:15 p.m.
WHERE: At the Hotel Palomar, 505 North State Street, in downtown Chicago
Ten+ individuals who belong to three groups: a Catholic lay reform group called VOTF (Voice of the Faithful), African American Advocates Of Clergy Sexual Abuse, a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
There will be large printed charts of data and photos of child victims and accused priests.
Because Chicago archdiocesan officials have been less-than-forthcoming about child molesting clerics, volunteers from VOTF and SNAP spent hours and hours over five years researching and compiling thorough assignment records on nearly100 admitted, proven and accused predator priests. They used two primary sources: the Official Catholic Directory (which is essentially a church-sponsored annual ‘yearbook’ of priests and a Boston-based research group called BishopAccountability.org.)
For years, attorneys who represent African American victims have argued that the archdiocese discriminates against their clients and “dumps” a disproportionate percentage of predators in African American neighborhoods.
Two parishes have had five accused priests (St. Leonard in Berwyn and St. Aloysius in Chicago). Six have had four accused priests (Holy Innocents in Chicago, St. Christina in Chicago, St. Eulalia in Maywood, St. John Vianney in Northlake, St. Thomas of Villanova in Palatine, and Resurrection Life Center in Chicago).
There are only a handful of dioceses in the world whose accused priests’ assignment histories have been compiled and analyzed in this way. They include Los Angeles CA, Rockville Centre NY and Davenport IA.
Some of the analysis of the data was provided by BishopAccountability.org.
Sandra Stilling-Seehausen 847 456 0016 / 847 456 0016,
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 / 314 566 9790
Barbara Blaine, 312 399 4747 / 312 399 4747
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