BishopAccountability.org
 
  Ilinois and Chicago Archdiocese Sued over Failure to Enforce and Comply with Child Protection Mandated Reporter Law Uniformly

eMediaWire [Chicago IL]
Downloaded October 7, 2004

Ilinois and Chicago Archdiocese Sued Over Failure to Enforce and Comply With Child Protection Mandated Reporter Law Uniformly

A Chicago psychologist has sued the Chicago Archidiocese and key Illinois State Departments in Federal Court over their failure to comply and enforce child abuse reporting laws by mandated professionals

(PRWEB) October 6, 2004 -- A Chicago psychologist has filed suit in federal court against the Cardinal George and the Archdiocese of Chicago and the major licensing and social services departments of the State of Illinois. The suit may have a wide ranging impact on how state and religious organizations conduct business.

Dr. Theophilus Green, a forensic and clinical psychologist, filed suit on behalf of himself, his clients and staff and alleges that all have been compromised because the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation do not enforce mandated reporter requirements for child abuse uniformly. Dr. Greenís complaint alleges that following a lawful child abuse report he filed, mandated by IDCFS, that was ruled "founded," IDPR sanctioned his professional license and unlawfully interrupted services to clients and staff under his supervision in violation of state and federal Mandated Reporter immunities. By failing to enforce mandated reporting requirement equally, Dr. Green alleges, IDCFS and IDPR removed providers compliant with child protection laws and thereby made his clients, particularly those Catholic, more vulernable to predators already known but not disclosed within the Catholic church.

This is the first complaint in which a doctor has sued on behalf of his clients for actions of child abuse that were caused by a stateís discriminatory enforcement of mandated reporter protections and the failure of state officials to take actions against representatives of the Catholic church following admissions of child sexual abuse. This case could decide if local, state, federal hospitals, schools and social service angencies now doing business with Catholic entities and the professionals staffing them could continue to recieve public funds because of the churchís admission of child sexual abuse. As a result, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a defendant. Dr. Greenís complaint (Green v. George 04-CV 5813 7th District) filed September 3, 2004, will be tried before Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovich at 219 So. Dearborn, Chicago, Ill.

This case is significant because it alleges that because of admissions by Archdiocese of Chicago to his congregation of over 50 years of child sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Chicago is not entitled to state and federal contracts and must return all funds received during the period in which child sexual abuse was known, but not reported. None of the thousands of child abuse reports admitted by the Cardinal George in a letter to their congreation February, 2004 were reported to state agencies because of religious vows required by the United States Counsel of Catholic Bishops.

Dr. Greenís complaint alleges that religious vows of the USCCB forbid or encouraged doctors, teachers, social workers and staff in hospitals, colleges, schools and social agencies to knowingly violate state law by failing to report known cases of child abuse. His complaint seeks to require the Illinois Attorney General to compell IDCFS to enforce mandated reporter responsibilities equally on the Catholic church and to compel IDPR to sanction the professional licenses of all professionals who know, knew or should have known of the thousands of unreported child sexual abuse cases. Dr. Greenís allegations include the entire Seventh U.S. District, but if successful would be enforceable against the USCCB which is essentially the Catholic church in America.

Dr. Greenís suit seeks to compel the Illinois Attorney General to enforce the law on mandated reporting, and asks that the the Illinois Attorney General and similar officials in jurisdictions with entities of the USCCB require USCCB to return all state, federal and local monies awarded during the period of known child abuse. But for the churchís silence, Dr. Green alleges, new contracts would not have been let under state and federal law. The suit also asks the court to remove the churchís tax exemption for failing to comply with state law. Additionally, the suit seeks to restrict federal Medicare and Medicaid monies from all Catholic schools, hospitals, churches or agencies with staff or management who have not complied with mandated reporter provisions.

"Illinois has a terrible reputation because of blatant constitutional abuses by prosecutors in its criminal justice system," says Dr. Green. "What is not widely known is that key state agencies also work to sabotage the professional licenses of minorities who would compete for state contracts targeted for white political favorites. The most egregious example in social service is the stateís handling of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, Ill. Minority communities need a place to put children in crisis and give families a break. The alternative is often gangs, violence and jail. Despite admissions of child abuse, rape and unexplained child deaths at Maryville, IDCFS has converted the institution to a school to justify contracting with Cardinal George after he has admitted child sexual abuse and has taken no steps to correct the problems related to that abuse.

"Illinoisí long history of violating the legal and constitutional rights of minorities has given me unique standing in the federal courts," says Dr, Green. "Iíve contacted the church and informed them I am willing to drop some claims if the USCCB grants American clerics the right to marry. Marriage for priests is the only real protection the church can provide to children, as well as my clients, and would provide a healthy model for Christian living as well.

"No church has the legal authority to restrict, or enforce the denial of, healthy human physical and emotional responsibilities just as no public official can lawfully ignore or fail to enforce violations of state law because of religious vows or concerns," continues Dr. Green. "In Illinois, the political and legal environment has created a church-state alliance that promotes expiency over the rights of others. There is no question in my mind that if the Mayor of Chicago and the Governor of Illinois were not Catholics, that the churchís failure to comment on a massive legal travesty to minorities and the stateís deaf hear to the consequences of the church's child sexual abuse would continue. There is, unfortunately, no other way to say it. Cardinal George has ignored his religious responsibilities to his congregation to serve the expectations of politicians in office.

"This complaint is the most important in the history of church state division," concludes Dr. Green. "My first witness would have to be the Pope. Iím filing this pro se. Because I donít have a legal career to protect, I can take the risks no lawyer would take because of my responsibility to my clients. Regardless of the outcome, the public will be served by the legal discussions this litigation will create."

 
 

Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.