ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO STATEMENT
REGARDING DOCUMENT RELEASE
January 15, 2014
Today the Archdiocese of Chicago will release to plaintiffs’ lawyer, Jeffrey Anderson, documents related to 30 Archdiocesan priests who have been accused of abusing minors at various times during the last half century. This release of documents is part of a mediation agreement between the Archdiocese and claimants’ lawyers. All of the documents relate to cases that date back many years, in some cases decades. Ninety-five percent of these cases occurred prior to 1988. These cases were reported to civil authorities and the Archdiocese did not hide abuse or protect abusers. All of the priests involved in this document release are out of ministry and 14 are deceased. No priest with even one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor serves in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago today.
The Archdiocese’s concern is for the rights of everyone involved, which both the Archdiocese and claimants acknowledge require careful consideration. Some portions of the documents are redacted to comply with legal restrictions about privacy of medical and mental health information and to protect the innocent. Nothing is redacted to conceal the identity of abusers.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted by the U.S. Bishops in Dallas in June 2002. The charter requires that no priest with even one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor can serve in public ministry. The Archdiocese of Chicago refers all reports of sexual abuse immediately to civil authorities. The Archdiocese’s independent Review Board examines the findings of all investigations and makes recommendations to the archbishop regarding fitness for ministry and safety of children.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is concerned first and foremost with the healing of abuse victims and has maintained a victim assistance ministry for more than 25 years. In addition, the Archdiocesan Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, charged with assisting victims and their families and preventing abuse, has trained and processed background checks on more than 160,000 priests, deacons, religious, lay employees and volunteers; conducted more than 3,000 training sessions; and trained more than 200,000 children to protect themselves from sexual predators.
The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer, to come forward. Complete information about reporting sexual abuse can be found on the Archdiocesan website at www.archchicago.org/departments/protection/protection.shtm.