Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Chicago Archdiocese Voluntarily Releases Priest Sex Abuse Documents

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Chicago Archdiocese Voluntarily Releases Priest Sex Abuse Documents

Article excerpt

The Chicago archdiocese on Nov. 6 voluntarily released nearly 15,000 pages of documents related to 36 priests with substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors brought against them.

All 36 priests are no longer active in ministry and had been listed on the archdiocese's website prior to the release: 14 have died and nine have been laicized. The archdiocese stated in a press release that 92 percent of the cases predate 1988 and that no priests with a substantiated allegation of child sexual abuse is currently in ministry.

Jan Slattery, director of the archdiocese's Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, told NCR that the release of the files was important because it provides "a full story"

"We didn't do everything perfectly. It got better as you come through time," she said. She said she anticipates the documents will encourage additional victims to come forward "and to try to reach some healing and some appropriate settlement within themselves."

The release comes roughly nine months since the archdiocese made public 6,000 pages of documents related to another 30 priests. Those files came as part of a 2008 settlement with alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse. Slattery said the January release led survivors of sexual abuse to come forward, but they named no priests not already listed by the archdiocese.

Together, the dual disclosures have opened the files of all but two Chicago priests known to have substantiated claims of abuse. according to the archdiocese. The remaining are Fr. Edward Maloney and Daniel McCormack, the latter a former priest who pleaded guilty in 2007 to sexually abusing five young men. McCormack's file remains sealed while litigation continues; Ma-loney's case is currently in canonical proceedings.

Despite the release coming without legal force, as did the January disclosure, it nonetheless garnered criticism. …

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