Catholic Sex Abuse Victims Gather On All Survivors Day

WBBM Radio

Nov. 3, 2019

By Andy Dahn

Sunday marked the second annual All Survivors Day for victims of sexual abuse but the story of one local gathering for Catholic clergy abuse survivors was its dismal turnout.

“Where is everybody?” asked Kate Bochte, a spokeswoman of the Chicago chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. “It’s so hard to find the strength just to even come out here on the sidewalk.”

Larry Antonsen said he was sexually abused by a priest at St. Rita High School on the southwest side when he was 15. He called the lack of progress in addressing the issue “frustrating.”

“One in four girls, one in six boys will be sexually abused before they’re 18-years-old,” Antonsen said. “We’re here to help protect them. We want things in place by the church to protect kids. That’s what this is all about.”

What had Bochte frustrated was the small crowd outside of Holy Name Cathedral. Located on the near North Side, Holy Name Cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

“Survivors cannot hear you pray,” she told reporters. “Survivors cannot hear your little conversations with your children or your friends about how much you support survivors. Tell them that. They don’t hear you.”

Antonsen said keeping children safe shouldn’t be so difficult.

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