Response to Abuse Reports

Chicago Sun-Times
November 14, 1993


July: The Rev. Robert E. Mayer is removed as pastor of St. Odilo Parish, Berwyn, after allegations of sexual misconduct with a male minor.

September: Priest is pulled from Skokie parish amid sex abuse charges.

Oct. 25: Bernardin creates three-member panel to investigate allegations of clerical sex abuse.

Nov. 19: Archdiocese says it has removed four priests from parishes, all for previous allegations against them, "to be as certain as humanly possible" that no young people will be "at risk."

Dec. 4: Mayer is charged with four counts of criminal abuse involving a 14-year-old at St. Odilo.


March 7: Archdiocese removes the Rev. Norbert J. Maday from South Holland parish after allegations of sex abuse during previous assignment. He is charged in Wisconsin with 1986 criminal sexual assault and intimidation of two youths while he was associate pastor of Our Lady of the Ridge parish in Chicago Ridge.

April 2: A third civil suit alleging sexual misconduct by a Northbrook priest is filed. Priest and archdiocese maintain he is innocent.

June 15: Panel on clerical misconduct finds probable cause against 31 priests over last 30 years. Bernardin pledges to reform archdiocese's handling of such cases. Panel recommends lay-dominated review board, a lay investigator and 24-hour hotline. Bernardin says eight priests are being removed from parishes, joining seven others said to have been removed in "more recent times." Number of priests removed over the last year: 20.

June 29: Archdiocese announces a South Side priest was pulled from a parish earlier in the month after charges of child sex abuse.

July 7: Maday surrenders to Wisconsin authorities, is charged with sexually molesting two boys in Oshkosh in 1986.

June 19: State's Attorney Jack O'Malley gets subpoena seeking information on reports of clerical abuse of minors since 1984.

Aug. 10: A West Side priest is removed from his parish after allegation of sexual abuse.

Sept. 2: Bernardin says he will go to court to block release of some information in priests' files subpoenaed by O'Malley.

Sept. 21: Bernardin enacts all major recommendations of review panel, says future charges of clerical sex abuse will be turned over to civil authorities before archdiocese holds its own investigation. O'Malley later calls new reporting procedure effective.

Nov. 16: Judge Thomas R. Fitzgerald rules in favor of archdiocese, says it can keep private some of its files on priests.


Feb. 5: Mayer is sentenced to three years for sexually abusing 13-year-old girl in parish rectory. Prosecutors say prison term is first ever ordered by a Cook County Criminal Court judge for a Chicago archdiocesan priest convicted of sex offenses.

March 4: O'Malley proposes state legislation to require all clergy and church employees to report sexual abuse of minors. It is defeated.

March 23: Court denies O'Malley's appeal of Fitzgerald's ruling.

May 26: The Rev. Ralph S. Strand is charged with nine counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Strand had been removed March 19 as pastor of Chicago's St. Francis Borgia parish. He was the 23rd priest since July, 1991, to be removed from a parish assignment here because of alleged sexual misconduct.

July 25: As part of a "healing process," a prayer service is offered for past victims of child abuse, including those molested by priests.

Nov. 11: Preparing to mark the 150th anniversary of the Chicago archdiocese, Bernardin says two of the biggest problems faced by the archdiocese are allegations of sexual misconduct by priests and declining economic resources.


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