30 Chicago Priests Guilty of Paedophilia*
Thousands of pages of documents showing sexual abuse of children by Chicago priests are set to go public on Tuesday, a report says.
The Archdiocese of Chicago handed over last week more than 6,000 pages of documents to victims’ attorneys, who said they will show the archdiocese concealed abuse for decades.
The attorneys said some priests were even moved to new parishes where they molested again.
The Washington Post reports that the new disclosure will involve 30 priests of the archdiocese, one of the largest and most influential in the US.
The Roman Catholic Church has been under harsh criticism in recent years for its failure to report child sex abuse, which mostly occurred before 1988 and 1996, to authorities.
Cardinal Francis George, who has led the archdiocese since 1997, released a letter to parishioners on Jan. 12 in which he apologized for the abuse.
“I apologize to all those who have been harmed by these crimes and this scandal, the victims themselves, most certainly, but also rank and file Catholics who have been shamed by the actions of some priests and bishops,” George wrote.
The archdiocese has paid millions of dollars to settle sexual abuse claims. In 2008, the archdiocese agreed to pay $12.6 million to 16 victims of sexual abuse by priests.
According to the Post, many of the accused priests are dead, and the documents will include only 30 of 65 priests for whom the archdiocese says it has credible allegations of abuse.
The Archdiocese of Chicago was established as a diocese in 1843 and as an archdiocese in 1880. It serves more than 2.3 million Catholics in Cook and Lake counties in Northeastern Illinois.