Jesuits named in list alleging sexual abuse

Chicago Tribune

December 20, 2018

By Morgan Greene

18 priests with ties to Chicago area included, with instances dating as far back as 1955

Eighteen Jesuit priests with ties to Chicago-area institutions were named on a list released Monday alleging instances of sexual abuse dating back more than six decades, including one defrocked priest who was convicted of sex crimes in federal court.

The Midwest Province Jesuits, part of a Catholic religious order known for its focus on education, released a list of dozens of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse to their names since 1955.

In a Monday evening phone interview, the Rev. Brian Paulson, provincial of the Midwest Province, said the list was a response to the scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church for the past two decades — from the 2002 abuse crisis exposed by The Boston Globe to the more than 300 Pennsylvania priests who were found to have sexually abused children, according to an August grand jury report.

“I think in the past, church leaders tried to avoid scandal,” Paulson said. “But I think now we realize the greater scandal is keeping this information in our drawer.”

Larry Antonsen, a Chicago leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said putting the names out there is a start. “I think it’s good that they’re putting out these lists, I really do,” he said. “Whether it’s complete or not, I don’t know. And it’s really hard to trust anybody in the Catholic Church because they’ve been hiding and lying for such a long time.”

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