Accused Priest's Status Draws Criticism
Orrick, Dave, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Dave Orrick Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer
Victims advocates are criticizing the Chicago Archdiocese for allowing a Lake County priest to continue his duties more than a month after a woman alleged he sexually abused her.
Last month, the woman, who now lives outside of Illinois and is maintaining anonymity, alleged the priest abused her in 1963, when she was a teen at a Cook County parish.
The woman claims that beginning when she was 14 and until she was 18, the priest, who subsequently served in another Cook County parish and another Lake County parish before his current duties, sexually abused her.
Officials with Chicago-based SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - said Saturday the priest should be temporarily removed from his current post as pastor while the archdiocese is investigating.
An archdiocese spokeswoman Saturday said the first stage of its investigation has found "insufficient evidence" supporting the woman's desire to remove the priest.
Spokeswoman Dianne Dunagan said the archdiocese has assigned a monitor to the priest, who continues to celebrate Mass but is being prohibited from being alone with minors.
Dunagan said the archdiocese has notified the Cook County state's attorney's office of the allegations, but no charges have been filed.
But SNAP President Barbara Blaine Saturday accused the archdiocese of dragging its feet.
"She (the alleged victim) went to the (Archdiocese) review board back in April," she said. …