Archdiocese Says 2 Accused Pastors Have Been Removed

By Gary Wisby
Chicago Sun-Times
June 6, 2005

Two priests have been removed as church pastors in the wake of allegations they sexually abused minors more than 20 years ago, the Chicago archdiocese said Sunday.

Letters read at weekend masses informed parishioners that the Rev.

Walter Turlo of St. Fabian Church in Bridgeview and the Rev. Bill O'Brien of Queen of Angels Church on the North Side had lost their posts.

Turlo, 60, allegedly "engaged in highly inappropriate behavior" with a minor about 30 years ago while serving as an associate pastor at St. William's Church, 2600 N. Sayre, archdiocese officials said. O'Brien was an associate pastor at St. Cajetan Church, 2445 W. 112th St., when he allegedly sexually abused a minor about 25 years ago. He is 57.

Cardinal Francis George approved the removal of both priests while the archdiocese conducts an investigation.

Both priests resigned and were said to be cooperating with church officials. Turlo and O'Brien are living "in a monitored and restricted setting," the archdiocese said.

Allegations against both were reported to the Cook County state's attorney's office.

"It's important to remember that suspending a credibly accused priest is a bare minimum first step," said Barbara Blaine, president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

5 reports in archdiocese

Five confirmed reports of sexual misconduct by former Chicago archdiocese clergy emerged last year, according to a survey commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. A spokesman for the archdiocese said none of those five clergy had to be removed because all had died or left the ministry.

The Chicago archdiocese paid $18.2 million to settle sexual abuse claims in the fiscal year that ended June 30.


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